It has occurred to me that it would be very helpful in Google searches if years could be searched for the way synonyms for words typically are. For example, searching for ‘Bob Eckels’ also returns results for ‘Robert Eckels,’ Bob being recognized as a nickname of Robert. I know I’ve encountered similar inclusions for a variety of words. In terms of years, it would be nice, sometimes, if searching ‘1969’ also caught results for the ‘1960s’ in general. I can see how that would be less useful than the names, but when I’m trying to find a person in a reel from some particular year, that particular year may or may not have any significance in that person’s legacy, neither in written material about things they accomplished nor in photographs hanging around the internet. I could–and do– just search by decade from the get-go, but as I said, sometimes a particular year is significant, but it would be nice to automatically pick up a range of years…figuratively widen the net.

Alternately, the built-in ‘search by time’ function could be expanded. Searching for ‘Neil Armstrong,’ for example, limited to results prior to 12/31/1969 results in nothing; limiting results to preceding 12/31/1970 returns a plethora of materials. On the plus side, it has the ability to search by a page’s original chronological context and not just its upload/update timestamp, of which I hadn’t been aware, so that’s nice. (A less famous figure, of course, is still very under-represented.)

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