Thursday, June 15, 2017

Search results sorted by date?

I wanted to highlight an interesting discussion that's been happening in the comments of last week's Challenge.  

Regular Reader Diane asked a great question: 

"... [is] there is a way to order Google search results by date?I did a search on ["search lessons" ] to get a list of the search lessons you provide in the various challenges. I'd like to be able to order my search results by date, with the most recent one first. Is there a way to do that?"
After she asked that question, Regular Readers Ramón and Remmij pointed out that Diane has two options. 

First, if it's just the blog posts that Diane wants to see in chronological order, the simplest way is to look at the "Blog Archive" on the right hand side.  You can scroll down now to see them.  It looks like this:

As you can see, the entire history of SearchResearch is there, all the way back to 2010.  

(Has it really been 7 years of blogging?? My how the time flies.)  

You can also search for specific topic within all of the blog posts by clicking on the search box in the upper left: 

.. which you can then sort by date.  

HOWEVER... oddly enough, this search tool only shows you the top 6 hits.  If you do a site: search like this, you'll find many more!  

Here, I'm searching for every blog post where I use the word "polymath."  There are 22 results over the past 7 years.  

But perhaps more to the point, you can date restrict any search results by using the time filter tool.  

To do that, click on the "Tools" item (circled in the above image), then select which option you want to restrict by.  

This isn't quite showing the results sorted by time, but you can get pretty close.  Here's my search limited to just 2015.  First you specify the date range for acceptable results by entering just the dates for 2015.  

Then, when you click on "Go" you'll find that you get just the results from the blog that were published in 2015.  

This isn't quite what Diane asked for, but it's pretty useful! 

Search on! 


  1. Thanks, Dr. Russell, and Ramón and Remmij for the suggestions. I don't know if Google has it on its to do list, but I think being able to export the results of a search and then order them by the date would be a great addition to its functionality.

  2. Note that once you select a date range for any Google search, you have the option to sort those results by relevance or by date.

    1. Thanks Melanie! This works really well, especially because in the case I used as an example, I can at least identify a beginning date even if the end date is ongoing.