How do I get the search engines to include the date an item was posted in
the results? I waste a lot of time opening and searching search results, only
to find the information is obsolete or no longer applicable?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #93 I look at the problems involved in displaying a date in
search results and how Google attempts to solve the problem.
Dates in search engines
The very short answer to your question is that you don’t. The search engines display what the search engines display.
I suppose you could lobby them to include the date – but unfortunately, the date an item has been posted can be a very difficult thing for a computer to determine. It seems like it should be really obvious but in fact it’s not. There are many, many ways that computers can get that information wrong.
Google search tools
Now, there is another thing you can try. In Google, if you search Google for something, in the search results, near the top are options for “more”.
Google typically changes the way things look, the way things are placed from time to time – and in fact I can see right now that it’s been changed. So you have to look.
What you’ll find is that there are options at the top of the Google search results that allow you to say, “I want to look at the search results from the last hour, or the last 24 hours or the last week or the last month or the last year.”
You can even specify a custom range.
Google’s time range
That is Google making an attempt to say – okay, we’re going to give you search results we think were made within the last whatever timeframe that is.
But like I said, it’s problematic; it’s error prone. It’s very easy to get wrong – and in all honesty I don’t blame the search engines for not necessarily throwing the date on search engine results.
They try. Google in particular, at least, tries to make the search results as relevant as possible based on a number of different features, a number of different factors, one of which is date. But like I said they don’t show the date, whether for good or bad.
The other search engines that you’ve apparently tried don’t. Other than finding a search engine that you can use that does include the date in the search results, there’s no way that I know to force the dates into the results.
The only thing that comes kind-of close are these options in Google’s “Advanced search” that allow you to specify a time range.
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
Next from Answercast 93- Are there any legitimate work-at-home sites?