For most people, Google has fast become the first step to finding out what’s happening in the world about a certain subject. After all, when a big event takes place – such as Michael Jackson’s death – isn’t your first reaction to search for it on Google and hit the ‘News’ link?
And with the recent ‘Search Options’ feature that Google introduced, looking up latest results based on time became a whole lot easier. However, real-time search still remains a major issue.
Now, Ron Geva of Omgili has come around with a simple hack to enable real-time search on Google by just altering the URL bar slightly.
Suppose you search for Barack Obama in the news results for the past 24 hours. For the uninitiated, that means you go search on Google, use the ‘Search Options’ and select past 24 hours. You would get a URL bar that looks something like this: http://www.google.com/search?q=barack obama&hl=en&output=search&tbs=qdr:d&tbo=1
This URL bar can differ based on the browser you are using and the version of Google, but by and large, the one element we need is intact. That element is the “qdr:d”, in this case.
“Notice the URL parameter ‘qdr:d’. I assume qdr stands for Query Date Range (sounds about right). All you have to do to search for the query in the past minute is to change the parameter to qdr:n, and for the past second to qdr:s,” Geva writes.
So if you were to just change the ‘d’ to ‘n’ in the above address, your new result would be http://www.google.com/search?q=barack obama&hl=en&output=search&tbs=qdr:n&tbo=1 and it would look something like this:
Notice the ‘past minute’ option? Cool, eh?
All you have to do is to remember that ‘n’ stands for minutes and ‘s’ for seconds. And what’s more, you can also set the number of minutes or seconds you want to go search within.
So suppose you want just results within the last 45 seconds. Using the same URL bar you get when searching for Barack Obama, add the number after the ‘qdr:s’, thus changing it to http://www.google.com/search?q=barack obama&hl=en&output=search&tbs=qdr:s45&tbo=1
It’s a dead-simple hack that anyone could use. And with Google’s open API, it should be only a matter of time before someone makes an application for this or the search giant themselves integrate it into their interface. Till then, enjoy your real-time googling!