You may have had the experience while searching on Google of finding results that are either too simple or too complex for the task at hand. A new feature in Advanced Search lets you display the reading level of results and filter based on level.

To use the new feature, click “Advanced search” next to the search box and make a selection under “Reading level.”

If you choose to “annotate results with reading levels,” you’ll start seeing a handy bar graph showing the range of content for a particular topic at the top of the results page. This way whether you’re looking for a basic explanation of the [physics of frisbees] for your first science fair project, or you’re designing radical new saucers as part of your college aerospace class, Google can help you find just the right results.

By choosing “show only basic results” or “show only advanced results” you can sometimes find those needle-in-a-haystack pages that speak your language. For example, most results for [newtonian physics] are clearly for specialists in the field, but narrow that to the Basic reading level (hint: click on the “Basic” bar chart label), and you might just find something that actually makes sense. This can be particularly help for people who are learning English as a second language.

On the other hand, if you’re doing serious research on a topic with a lot of fluffy content online (eg: puppies), you can use the reading level tool to cut through to the more learned and interesting results. Who knew there was a scholarly journal of pop culture?

The reading level tool might even help you choose a research topic for your next project. Many searches return results that are on one extreme or the other: a lot of rudimentary information or a bunch of pages intended for Ph.D’s. With reading level information, you can get a sense of how much content has been published to the web at an appropriate level.