Google has snuck another thing into your search results: Google Search Options. You can find the way to access it at the top of your results. Just click the Show options… link and a little pane on the left side will open up.
The menu will look like the following screenshot. The Search Options allow you to filter results to videos, forum posts, and reviews. You can also filter by post time: any time, recent results, past 24 hours, past week, and past year. You can also toggle sorting the results by date or by relevance. Beyond these options, you can spin-off your query with a new perspective on your research with related searches, something called Wonder Wheel, and another Timeline.
The Wonder Wheel option provides a graphic to dissect your results into related query strings that might prove useful to you. Just click on any of the spokes off of your Wonder Wheel to perform a new search with those terms. This can help broaden your research and suggest different words to try with your queries.
Timeline provides a historic look on the search results. If a page in your results refers to a specific time or is published during that time, it will show up in Timeline as you drill down to the specific time you’re looking for. You can zoom in on sections of the timeline by clicking on the predefined sections. You can filter your search results down to a specific month! This is a pretty cool option for any historical research but also has significance for current searches. I know in my daily encounters of computer problems I often get results that were written in 2004 or earlier and many things have changed since then that those results are irrelevant.
If you don’t like these new options, they stay out of the way pretty well, but if you’re trying to find something specific, they should be a welcome addition to your normal querying.