diamond geezer

 Friday, May 15, 2009

Type something into Google, like for example the name of this blog, and what happens?

You get a list of results - in my case 229,000 different webpages, of which these are the top 5...
1) Diamonds, Diamond rings, Engagement Rings, Earrings, Wedding Bands ...
www.diamondgeezer.com (ah yes, the legendary Dragon's Den jewellery website, they've been around for years, and they claim the number 1 spot)

2) Diamond Engagement Rings & Diamond Rings - DiamondGeezer.com
www.diamondgeezer.com/diamond-engagement-rings/platinum-diamond-rings.html (hmm, them again, taking the top two places, is that fair?)

3) diamond geezer
diamondgeezer.blogspot.com/ (ooh, that's me, which isn't bad going for a mere blog named after a common phrase)

4) Augustus Caesar: Diamond Geezer - the official site
www.acdgthemovie.co.uk/ (scant details of a "Roman sci-fi" film, released 2004, very minor, and inexplicably high in the rankings)

5) Diamond Geezers - Harlequins' and Rugby's Loudest & Brightest ...
www.diamondgeezers.org.uk/ (another long-standing page, this time for a pack of beery rugby supporters)
And then 228,995 further results, including rhyming slang, an 80s tribute band, and an Ian Dury obituary, plus some sponsored jewellery websites down the right hand side.

But as of this week you also get something new. Google have added a "Show options..." option at the top of the list of results. And there are a heck of a lot of options.

First, videos. Ah, here we go. The entire canon of David Jason's ITV drama-lite series, chopped up into 10 minute chunks and uploaded to YouTube. Lovely jubbly? If you think not, you can drill down further to explore short, medium or long videos (I recognise the bloke at the top of the "short" list), or narrow things down according to how recently the video appeared. I'd never otherwise have discovered diamondgeezer.com's gem-encrusted talking skull (and I rather wish I hadn't).

Second, forums. If you care about forums. Bit of ragga-jungle, a group talking about sheds, and the all important question "What does diamond geezer mean?" Again, options to sort by relevance or time.

Thirdly, reviews. This doesn't seem to be working brilliantly, because the number 1 review isn't for diamond rings, it's a review I wrote about the beta version of the BBC iPlayer. Hopelessly out of date by now, but it's easy to amend the list to feature far more recent opinions.

Play around with some of the extra features underneath and you can get ordinary search results but with added photos, or ordinary search results but with longer chunks of text. You can also leap to what Google believe to be related searches (farewell 'diamond geezer', hello 'silly putty'?). Beware, there's no way back.

Then there's the rather flash Wonder Wheel, which is highlighted in multi-coloured type in the hope that you'll definitely click on it. A selection of related searches appears, graphically represented like a spider's legs, and you can click on one to get further related searches, and more, and more. I managed to get from "diamond geezer" to "tom sharpe" in three clicks, but you could go much further.

And finally there's a Timeline option, which in this case allows you to track various diamond geezers through past decades. 1969 turns out to be my post about Victoria line tiles, and 1979 links to my Jubilee line anniversary month. Clicking on the bar graph at the top of the page allows you zoom in on smaller time periods, right down to a single month. The graph's very informative - spot the chronological difference between, for example, Henry VIII and Susan Boyle.

Suddenly Google Search is a page to play with, and not just a launchpad into other web material. Impressive stuff? Or merely an irrelevant sideshow? You might enjoy playing yourself, purely in the interests of research of course. But don't overlook the terribly useful "Reset options" button at the bottom of the list, otherwise you could end up in a right mess.

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