Google Tests Sort By Date/Sort By Relevance Feature In SERPs

This will only be a short post and many many apologies if this is old news (I've been away on holiday for a few days so I'm a little behind with my reading) - judging by a quick search though it appears no-one has reported this yet. That means I'm part of a new Google test - awesome! I love it when that happens.

Right now, any search I run on shows me a page like this:

Google Testing New Search Results

On the right I see two options that I've never seen before, "sort by relevance" and "top results sorted by date":

Sort by relevance, sort by date

Clicking the "sort by date" shows me a 'fresh' results page like this:

"sort by date" selected

The URL changes when I click either of the two options to append a sortbydate parameter:

Sort by relevance (regular Google results):

Sort by date (fresh Google results):

Without delving into this too deeply it appears that the 'sort by date' results are similar to google blogsearch results though the two results pages differ and in fact right now I'm seeing the same "sort by relevance", "sort by date" options on blogsearch results pages too:

blogsearch results

The URL changes in a different way for blogsearch with "sort by relevance" just using the regular URL and "sort by date" using an "&scoring=d" parameter:

Interestingly, I don't get the same option for google images (where I think this feature would be pretty handy - assuming of course that google image search results didn't suck!)...

Anyone else seeing this? What are your thoughts on this?

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