Today’s tip came about as a result of a question from a reader, Mike. He wrote:
“A topic for your podcast: How to limit search results. I use Google, Yahoo, and Duckduckgo for making searches. Today I happened to search for “episodic dvd ripper” and got many hits as old as 15 years back. Is there a way to limit searches to only posts from 2015 and newer? The older stuff is out of date, wrong, or misleading. Thanks.”
Yes, you can narrow down your searches based on lots of different criteria.
For Google searches, this is really easy. Just go to Google.com and before you type anything in the search field, look down in the bottom right corner of the screen and click on “Settings”:
Then, in the little menu that comes up, click on Advanced Search:
Here’s the fun part! You’re going to see a whole lot of options to filter or narrow down your search results:
The top section is where you specify filters for your actual search word or phrase.
The bottom section is to narrow down your search results to a specific language, geographical region, last update date and more. When you have the filters you want, click the Advanced Search button at the bottom and see what comes up.
For Yahoo, it doesn’t seem quite as easy or as thorough as that, but you can still narrow down your searches.
You need to go to search.Yahoo.com and just do a regular search. In this example I did a search on computer repair in Safety Harbor, Florida.
When you see the search results come up, look just under the search field and you’ll see that you can narrow down the results based on how recent they are:
This of course isn’t nearly as specific as you can be with Google, but it may be sufficient if you like using Yahoo for web searching (most people don’t).
And finally, DuckDuckGo. For anyone concerned about online privacy, DuckDuckGo.com is a great option because the searches are not tracked and your personal information is not stored anywhere.
This one is also not nearly as customizable as Google, but there are some options. At the main home page, look in the top right corner for the 3 horizontal lines. Click on that and choose “Settings” and you’ll see what your choices are:
These filters are more general and are mainly designed to apply to ALL searches, not specifically to a particular search.
I’m guessing there is probably some way for Yahoo and DuckDuckGo search results to be filtered more specifically than what I showed above, but if there is, they don’t make it very obvious.
So, if you really want to be exact in your search results, Google is your best choice. That could be why they currently have about 76% market share for searches, and the other search engines are just scrambling for the leftovers.