11 Apr 2019
This is Google's newest trick to filter search results
In a bid to simplify the experience of looking up information, Google is adding a new trick into search.
The tech giant has introduced a specific set of commands that a Google searcher can use with their query to filter out results by time.
This will make searching snappier and more seamless than it ever was.
Here's how you can use the new commands.
Filtering results by date is time consuming
Since 2009, Google has been offering a dedicated box under the search bar to help users filter out results by time.
The option allowed users to get results from the past hour, 24 hours, week, month, year, and even provided a way to pick a 'custom date range'.
However, as the option was separate from search, many didn't even use it.
New Google commands will change this
Now, Google is bringing the same capabilities into the search box in the form of specific commands - 'before:' and 'after:'
You can use these commands alone or together to filter out results with a specific date or period.
For instance, if you want results associated with Avengers Endgame from before 2019, you will have to write 'Avengers Endgame before:2019'.
Same goes for 'after:2019'.
Filtering results by specific date
When you're entering a year, Google translates it into full dates for the beginning or the end of the year, depending on the before/after command used.
However, if you want results from before/after a specific date, just enter the query and follow up with 'before:' or 'after:' and the date in question.
For instance, a query for Endgame would look like 'Avengers Endgame before:2019-4-24'.
Here is Google's announcement
The before: after: commands return documents before after a date. You must provide year-month-day dates or only a year. You can combine both. For example:— Google SearchLiaison (@searchliaison) April 9, 2019
[avengers endgame before:2019]
[avengers endgame after:2019-04-01]
[avengers endgame after:2019-03-01 before:2019-03-05] pic.twitter.com/bo1rSeulbH
Commands active in beta right now
Google says filtering commands are available in beta and will roll out after some additional elements are finalized, including the display of dates in results.
We believe the capability would make filtering out results a tad easier for users.
The search giant says its system will recognize both dashes and slashes as long as the date is written in the year-month-day format.
You can even combine both commands
Plus, you can also combine both commands to get results for a specific time period. This means you could write something like 'Avengers Endgame after:2018-05-05 before:2018-12-04'.