How To Sort Google Searches by Most Recent?

How To Sort Google Searches by Most Recent?

The Google search engine is popular because it provides users with the most relevant search results that directly answer their search query. But sometimes, the most “relevant” result isn’t the most “recent” one which can bring up a lot of problems if you’re looking for updated information. So is there a way to sort google searches by most recent?

You can’t sort regular Google Searches by most recent as the option was retired in 2019. However, you can still sort Google News searches by clicking on the “Tools” option in the menu under the search bar and then selecting “sorted by date” instead of “sorted by relevance.”

This article has a quick guide on using the “Sorted by Date” option with Google news search and a couple of different ways to filter Google searches by date. It also covers why Google retired the useful “sorted by date” option for regular searches but kept it for their Google news searches. 

What Are the Different Ways To Filter Google Search by Date?

What Are the Different Ways To Filter Google Search by Date?
What Are the Different Ways To Filter Google Search by Date?

Although Google has dropped the feature to sort search results by date, there are still ways you can filter search results by date. You can specify a time range, and the search engine will only show search results published during that time range. 

Here are different ways you can filter Google search results by date:

  1. Using the “Any Time” feature in the Google Search Tools menu
  2. Use the “before” and “after” commands
  3. Using Google’s Advanced Search settings

Google will still use its algorithm to figure out and present the “relevant” search results from that period. But it still gives you some control over how far back Google can fetch the articles for you. Let’s go over each of these methods in more detail.

1. Using the “Any Time” Feature in the Google Search Tools Menu

Using the “Any Time” Feature in the Google Search Tools Menu
Google search results by the date shown with bright red arrows using the “Any Time” feature under the “Tools” option in the search menu.

The simplest way to filter your Google search results by date is to use the “Any Time” feature under the “Tools” option in the search menu.

To use the feature, follow the given steps:

  1. Go to Google.com and search for a term or phrase.
  2. There will be a menu on the results page underneath the search bar. Click on “Tools,” located at the far right corner of the menu under the search bar, microphone, and magnifying glass.
  3. A new menu pop-up underneath it with the option “Any time.”
  4. Click it and reveal another drop-down menu with the options – past hour, past 24 hours, past week, past month, past year, and custom range.
  5. If you select “past hour,” Google only shows relevant results published in the last hour. The same goes for the other options besides the custom range. Selecting a custom range will allow you to pick a “From” date and “To” date, and Google will only show relevant results published between that time.

This method is the simplest way to filter your Google search results by date. However, it involves many steps and can get repetitive if you need to do a lot of searches. 

Thankfully, there are a few advanced, albeit complicated, ways to filter your Google search results that’ll help you save more time.

2. Use the Google “Before” and “After” Commands

Use the Google “Before” and “After” Commands
The red arrow shows where to use the Google “Before” and “After” Commands in the search toolbar.

Google introduced the “before” and “after” commands back in 2019. It allows you to filter out search results directly between a particular period in the search query.

For example, let’s say you want to look for “best 4k tv” articles published between 2019 and 2021. In that case, you can type the following search query – “best 4k tv (after) 2019 (before) 2021,” and the search results will filter out only the articles published in that period.

That said, you can also use only one of the commands in your search query – there’s no need to use both. 

Furthermore, you can specify the publication date and not just the year. Instead of after: year, you can use “after” year-month-day or “after” year/month/day to fine-tune your search results. 

Here’s a more detailed guide on the topic.

3. Using Google’s Advanced Search Settings

Using Google’s Advanced Search Settings
In Advanced Search, you’ll get the option “last update,” indicated by the red arrow, which allows you to filter the data for the search result.

Do you often need or want to fine-tune your Google search queries on multiple parameters, not just the publication date? If yes, you should consider using the Google Advanced Search feature.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use Google Advanced Search to filter dates for the search result:

  1. Search a query using the Google search engine.
  2. On the results page, go to the top-right corner of the screen. Here you’ll notice a gear or cog-wheel-like icon. Click it to slide out the quick settings. The “Advanced search” option should be located under the “Using Search” section.
  3. In Advanced Search, you’ll get the option “last update,” which allows you to filter the data for the search result. You’ll get these options – any time, past 24 hours, past week, past month, and last year.

These date filtering options are somewhat limited, but you can also fine-tune the Google results by searching for specific dates mentioned in the document you’re searching.

For example, in the “Find pages with” section, you can specify a particular year in the “any of these words” or “this exact word or phrase.” Google will only show results where the document contains that specific date.

As you can see, this gives you much more granular control over the search results.

Sorting Google News Searches by Most Recent

Sorting Google News Searches by Most Recent
Sorting Google News searches by most recent step-by-step guide below.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to sort Google news searches by most recent:

  1. Go to Google.com
  2. Type a query in the search bar and click the “Google Search” button.
  3. You’ll notice a menu on the results page underneath the search bar. Click the “News” button. This will show all news articles related to your search query.
  4. Click on the “Tools” button to the far right of the menu under the search bar. Another menu will drop down with a couple of sorting options.
  5. Click the “Sorted by relevance” option and switch it to “Sorted by date.” Your whole Google news search results will be organized in reverse chronological order.

And that’s it! You now know how to sort your Google news search results by most recent.

Disclaimer: The above steps work when you visit Google search from a desktop browser. If you’re using Google search on your mobile phone browser, the “Tools” option might not be present. In that case, switch the phone browser to “desktop view.” After that, follow the steps cited above.

Why Did Google Retire the “Sorted by Date” Option?

Why Did Google Retire the “Sorted by Date” Option?
Why Did Google Retire the “Sorted by Date” Option? Not everything always works as planned!!

Google retired the “sorted by date” option because they didn’t feel confident that the publication dates of the articles were accurate or valid. However, they have confidence that the publication dates of the “news” articles are valid, so they kept the option available for Google news searches.

You can check out this Google Support discussion to learn more about why Google retired the “sorted by date” option.

After removing the feature, the search engine giant also unveiled new “before and after” search commands to help users filter search results by date. You can check out this Twitter thread from 2019 to learn how to use these Google search commands.

That said, the functionality is still operational for Google news searches where the company feels confident in the validity of the publication dates.

In Conclusion

Google retired the option to sort search results by the most recent in 2019. They didn’t feel confident about the validity of the dates attached to the articles or blog posts that appear with regular searches.

However, the “sorted by date” is still available with Google news searches if you wish to use that.

Also, many Google search filtering options help you fine-tune your search results to a particular time range. You will have flexibility in finding articles or blog posts published around a specific date. 

References:

John Mortensen

I am a project manager, tech writer, and science enthusiast who loves to study the latest technology, such as AI, comedy, quantum computers, smartphones, headphones, and software.

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