Google quietly added an interesting advanced search feature that lets users sort results by reading skill level.
When you click on the "advanced search" link next to a Google search box, you're now presented with an additional option to sort by "reading level". The options available under this filter include "annotate results with reading levels," "show only basic results," "show only intermediate results," and "show only advanced results."
On selecting the "annotate results with reading levels" option, Google shows the reading level of each result on the page. Additionally, it allows to quickly switch the reading level by clicking the appropriate option from the bar graph at the top of the page which shows the percentage of results for each skill level.
The Google Help document says that this feature was introduced to help people pare down their results to the kinds of pages they're most interested in. For instance, a junior high school teacher looking for content for her students or a second-language learner might want web pages written at a basic reading level. A scientist searching for the latest findings from the experts may want to limit results to those at advanced reading levels.
An interesting by product of this feature is that it lets you judge the reading level of different websites.
[via Search Engine Roundtable]