Dear Lifehacker, I’ve also noticed Google results have become less useful but for a different reason. More and more often when I search for information I become frustrated as I’ll start reading about whatever I’m searching for before I realise that the info is 2 or 3 or 5 years old. These days information on a topic that’s even more than 12 months old is often outdated. I realise you can refine your results using the time options on the left hand side of the search results, but often I forget. Is there a way to have my default search results only return items from the past year? Thanks, Timely Manner
There’s a relatively straightforward way to solve this problem using one of our favourite technologies, keyword bookmarks, which let you search any given site using a keyword that you type into the address bar. We’ve explained in the past how to set these up for both Firefox and Chrome, so we won’t repeat all the details here.
Keyword bookmarks are often ignored for Google itself, since chances are that you’ve got Google set as your default search option and can access it via the browser search box instead. However, one advantage of using keyword bookmarks in conjunction with Google is that you can also set additional parameters, such as restricting your search results to a given time period.
To do this, just conduct a search for a single word on Google, restrict the results to the last year (or whatever time period you want), and then use the URL for that search page as the basis for setting up your bookmark (replacing the search term with the %s character used in keyword bookmarks to indicate what you’re searching for).
Granted, this won’t change the default behaviour of Google if you visit the site itself. However, setting up a single letter keyword for all your searches is a more efficient way of working anyway, especially if you use the Control-L keyboard shortcut to access the address bar.
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