The Fastest Way to Limit Google Search Results by Date

The Fastest Way to Limit Google Search Results by Date thumbnail

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A well-worded Google search can bring up the most relevant results in a matter of seconds. But the trouble with those results that are deemed to fit your search query best is that they’re not always the most recent results for that topic.

This happens to me all the time. I’m constantly Googling stuff about personal finance, but numbers for things like tax rates can change yearly. If I’m not getting recent and relevant results, it takes me a whole lot longer to get the information I need.

That’s why I’m quite pleased with this tip from Reddit user familytreebeard. You can add time limitations to your search right from the text box. Here’s what to do:

You can filter any range of years using “before:“ and “after:“ in any search. Much quicker than clicking through the “tools” menu and selecting a time frame by hand.

The thread highlights using this technique when searching for software or programming information, which can change a lot in the span of just a few years.

Let me give you a quick example of how useful it is. Last week when I wrote about automating your credit card payments, I mentioned the maximum late fee a credit card issuer can charge.

My initial search to determine the current caps fell short:

Screenshot: Lisa Rowan

The first result that popped up was correct…in 2010. I knew the rules had changed since then, so it took longer to determine the most current caps.

Here’s the first result I got today when I added a time limitation to the search:

Screenshot: Lisa Rowan

Now we’re cooking. Even though the highlighted page was updated in December 2019, it grabbed the info I needed for 2020.

This isn’t a replacement for doing your diligence and reviewing search results carefully. But if you frequently conduct searches where you need results from a certain time-frame or just want the most recent information, this is the quickest way to get there.

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