Hidden Google Feature: Find What’s New In The Last Minute Or Second

Google provides options for anyone to easily narrow searches to find material added in the week or day. But now — if you know the right commands to enter — you can find content added to Google in the last few minutes or even seconds.

The Omgili Blog discovered this hidden feature. Here’s an example of what it can do, showing a search narrowed to the past 5 minutes for [Barack Obama]:

Past 5 minutes on Google

Here is one for the past 30 seconds of web results found for that same query:

Past 30 seconds on Google

How does one get these results? Do a search, then add this to the end of what you searched for:

&tbs=qdr:X##&tbo=1

The X## portion gets replaced with:

  • s## for number of seconds you want to narrow your search to, such as s45 for the last 45 seconds, or &tbs=qdr:s45&tbo=1
  • n## for number of minutes you want to narrow your search to, such as n5 for the last 5 minutes, or &tbs=qdr:n5&tbo=1
  • h## for number of minutes you want to narrow your search to, such as h2 for the last 2 hours, or &tbs=qdr:h2&tbo=1

That portion gets added to the end of whatever you’ve searched for initially. For example, say you searched for [kanye west] from the Google home page. After doing your search, you’d add the examples above like this:

Past 45 seconds:

http://www.google.com/#&q=kanye+west&tbs=qdr:s45&tbo=1

Past 5 minutes

http://www.google.com/#&q=kanye+west&tbs=qdr:n5&tbo=1

Past 2 hours

http://www.google.com/#&q=kanye+west&tbs=qdr:h2&tbo=1

Note that as best we can tell, the time indicates when Google added the material to its index, not necessarily when it was published.

Postscript From Danny Sullivan: There’s been much discussion as this being a form of “real time” search from Google. I’d counter that it’s not. It allows you to find recently discovered and indexed content, but it doesn’t bring back huge amounts of actual “real time content,” such as Twitter tweets.

For example, around 9am Pacific time, I did a search for results on [kanye west] in the past minute from Google and got a total of 3.

Over on Twitter, there are so many real time tweets going out that the service is collapsing under the weight — it’s not reporting proper results because it is so overloaded it can’t even show the most recent ones. Fair to say, there’s a lot more than 3.

Still, the new options are welcomed and will be something I’ll play with more in the future. Meanwhile, I recommend reading my What Is Real Time Search? Definitions & Players for more about what is and isn’t real time search, in my view.

Related Topics: Channel: Social | Google: Web Search | Top News | Twitter

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • Margaret

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Margaret

    http://businesseshome.net

  • http://www.adbizniz.com Alex B.

    What a pleasant surprise! I have visited your Blog today and I have found your Blog to be most informative, precise, as well as to-the-point, containing great content.
    I have picked up some pearls of wisdom from your posts and I really thank you.
    http://www.adbizniz.com

  • http://www.cucumbermarketing.com Helen

    Excellent post Barry! Thanks.

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