Google Gets Real-time Search


google_logoTwitter, you’re not the only one with up-to-the-second search results. Google (s goog) now boasts that ability, too, a fact revealed in an Omgili blog post. It isn’t yet a publicly-available feature, but with very little effort on your part, you too can narrow your results to “this past second,” or a range of other different increments.

The trick is in using Google’s “Search Options,” a new feature added in May of this year that allows you to filter your results a number of ways, including according to how recently something was published. The closest you can get to real-time results using the official Google menu options is “Past 24 hours,” which is handy, but if currency is central to how well you do your job, getting even closer is ideal. Here’s how to do it.

To narrow your results further still, you’ll have to do some manual editing of the results URL you get from conducting a time-specific Google search. Simply conduct a search for the term of your choice and narrow it using the “Past 24 hours” filter. For the sake of this walkthrough, I used “Beatles 2009 Remaster” as my search term. This is what your URL should look like:

The “qdr:d” portion of this URL specifies the date range for your search. Changing the “:d” part of this formula will change the time frame of your search query. If you replace it with an “n”, so that it looks like “qdr:n,” you get results in the past minute. “qdr:s” returns results posted within the last second.

You can also specify a time frame by putting a number after the “qdr:n,” like so:

Which produces these results, published in the last 15 minutes:


You may not need this degree of granularity in your Google search results, but if the nature of your business depends on staying as up-to-date as possible, as it does in my field, then searching Google in real-time is a significant boon.

Share your favorite Google URL hacks in the comments.


Sarah Bray

Awwwww yeah. Thanks for letting us in on this secret. I still <3 Google search, even though I use Twitter nearly as often these days.

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