Google Introduces before: and after:

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Google has just introduced two new search operators – before: and after:

Here is what @searchliaison tells us:

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: [avengers endgame before:2019] [avengers endgame after:2019-04-01] [avengers endgame after:2019-03-01 before:2019-03-05].

If you provide only a year, before: & after: translates those into full dates that work, such as follows: [before:2018] = [before:2018-01-01] [after:2018] = [after:2018-12-31].

You can use either dashes or slashes in dates. Both of these are valid: 2018-12-31 2018/12/31.

(At the same time, Google took away sorting by date, except in the News, claiming that few users have taken advantage of it over the years.)

Example search: after:2019-1-1 OR -pub.dir javascript engineer seattle

It’s a matter of taste, but I like the new operators better than the date range selection that has been available under “Tools” since 2009.

The new operators are described as working in the general and news search; however, it looks like we can use them in Image and other special searches too.

Keep in mind that Google makes its best guess on a page’s date based on several considerations. For many pages “out there”, it is not able to identify the dates, and those pages won’t show up in the date range-restricted results.

For a large-volume collection of Google search tips and support from our training staff, check out the Advanced Workshop recording.

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