Searching Bing by date? Possible, but not pretty
Ken Saunders mentioned his great experience with Bing Support recently here on the site. He pasted an email that he received from Bing Support at the end of his comment that contained a parameter that allowed users to search Bing by date. I do consider search by date to be one of the most useful options in search.I use the option for instance when I troubleshoot something on the computer. A basic search like Internet Explorer crashes may yield results that have been published in 2005 or earlier which more often than not are not helpful at all anymore. Limiting the results to the past week for instance allows me to find out if others are experiencing the same issues.
Google makes the date search filter available under Search tools > Any time in their search engine but Bing up until now never really followed through with it.
You may be surprised that Bing displays a date filter on the search results page, but it is not always added. It seems that Microsoft thought it a good idea to only make it available for select queries, and not all of your queries. According to Bing Support, general queries usually do not show the date filter while very specific queries do.
The question that should come up now is whether there is an option to always search by date on Bing, or if that is not possible. After some testing I can tell you that it is possible, but it is not the easiest thing to do as it requires you to manipulate the url of the search results.
Support told Ken that adding the paramater &tbs=qdr:d to the url on the results listing will display the date filter on that page when it gets reloaded. This worked for me in Google Chrome but not in Firefox. I noticed however that the search results were indeed sorted by date when I added that parameter.
Then I remembered that Google used the same parameter for their date-based queries. The d therefore must stand for days. I ran a couple of tests with other date abbreviations, w for week and m for month for example, and they all returned the results that one would expect.
Here is a list of parameters that you can add to Bing's url to filter the results by date:
- &tbs=qdr:s - results of the previous second
- &tbs=qdr:n - results of the previous minute
- &tbs=qdr:h - results of the previous hour
- &tbs=qdr:d - results of the previous day
- &tbs=qdr:w -results of the previous week
- &tbs=qdr:m - results of the previous month
- &tbs=qdr:y - results of the previous year
The Any time menu that was displayed in Chrome but not in Firefox only displayed options to filter by day, week or month by the way, which means that you may need to use the parameters anyway if you want to filter by another time interval.
To use the parameters, simply append them to the end of the address (starting with bing.com) and hit return afterwards.
Update: Microsoft just announced that it added a time selector to all Bing search result pages. You can use it to limit the results to a certain time period. Available in the menu are 24 hours, 1 week and 1 month only. If you need to narrow it down further or increase the range of results, use the parameters outlined above to do so.Advertisement