Until recently, one of the most convenient ways to set a timer was to simply Google one. Type in a query like “10 minute timer” and, hey presto, you have to fill in a ten minute timer. But last month, reports started popping up that features of this feature disappeared from Google without warning. Round table on search engines was among the first to cover the missing timer on July 20, citing tweets from around July 18.
While there’s no shortage of minutes elsewhere on the web (or provided as stock apps on iOS and Android), Google’s built-in version was a simple and accessible alternative. And, in addition to the timer, there was also a stopwatch function built into the same widget for when you need to count up rather than down. The feature dates back almost a decade, having been introduced in 2013.
We are still checking.
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) July 27, 2022
Google hasn’t acknowledged the removal of the feature yet, so it may have been an accidental bug that caused it to go away. Danny Sullivan, Google’s public search liaison, first said he was looking into the matter. July 21. Almost a week later, on July 27, the team was “still checking.If his disappearance is a bug, then it’s a bug that may prove difficult to squash. A Google spokesperson did not immediately return The edge request for comments.
Intentionally removing the feature would be an odd move for Google given that it’s spent much of the last decade building more features natively into its search results page. What started as a simple list of hyperlinks now includes everything from rich snippets that attempt to answer your search query directly, to a dedicated news box and even more specific features, like a built-in price comparison tool. for airplane flights. None of them seem to be going anywhere.
And, in case you’re wondering, Google’s built-in metronome search is still alive and kicking — thank goodness.
Correction: August 1, 9:33 a.m. ET: This article originally incorrectly referred to the Search Engine Roundtable site as the SEO Roundtable. We regret the error.