Before and After: The New Google Search Commands

Before and After: The New Google Search Commands

by Wanda Moore April 12, 2019
Google search command

For months, Google has been testing new search commands and these days it has launched new commands before / after for Google Search .

The Before / After Command were announced in the past few hours directly by  Google’s Danny Sullivan who explained how the new feature allows users to limit searches to specific dates. Clearly we are always in the beta test phase and so in the next few days we could see research results that are not yet fully optimized.

How do the before / after commands work?

The before / after commands offer the same functionality as the tools to limit searches to specific date intervals.

Sullivan tells us that the commands are:

“The before: & after: commands return documents before & after a date. You must provide year-to-month-dates or only a year. You can combine both. For example:

[avengers endgame before: 2019] [avengers endgame after: 2019-04-01] [avengers endgame after: 2019-03-01 before: 2019-03-05] “

By reading above, we understand how the commands before and after return the documents before and after a specific date. And in order for the command to fully perform its functions, it is necessary to provide the dates of only the year or of the year – month – day. It is also possible to combine them both, so as to have mixed ranges of action.

The old search command by date

Until a few weeks ago it was possible to search by date directly using the date search tool:

Before and After the new Google Search commands

How to use the new command before / after the search:

What we report below, however, is a screenshot provided in the official Google announcement.

Before and After the new Google-Search-commands

Danny Sullivan has also provided some suggestions for the Google search user:

” Power user notes! If you provide only a year, before: & after: translates those into full dates that work “

Sullivan also tells us that if you provide only one year in the command before and after this translates the results into complete dates that work like the results below:

[before: 2018] = 
[before: 2018-01-01-01-01] [after: 2018] = 
[after: 2018-12-31] “

Finally, Sullivan also indicated that it is possible to use dashes or slashes on dates and that it is always a good idea to use the single digits as 5 instead of 05.

Here’s what he tweeted:


You can use all of these are valid:

2019-03-01 “

Other features of the before / after commands

Important thing to remember is that even if the search results shown in the News tab will always have a publication date, the date of publication of the pages in the search results is not always displayed and above all let us remember that the publication date of the results pages of search is subject to change.

Google’s public searchliaison adds a particular curiosity that is very interesting for those who for various reasons do SEO : Sullivan stated that it is difficult for Google to know when a document was published . Therefore, notification of the date must not be taken as an absolute estimate, but rather should be assessed purely as Google’s estimate.

“This leads to another power user note about dates. It is difficult to find an exact document for a variety of reasons. There is no standard way that all owners use to indicate publishing or republishing date (…) “

Google tells us that “it can be difficult for us to know the exact date of a document for several reasons. There is no standard way that all site owners use to indicate a publication or republishing date “and this should make you think a lot not only when looking for up-to-date reliable sources, but also understand how Google. each time, it indexes a single page.

We do not forget how many times the use of the given tool was “embarrassing” because it involved a lot of clicks and the compilation of input fields. This new feature makes it easier to find information that has been published in a specific time period.

A further step towards simplifying and improving users’ user experience.


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