I warn you: this is some serious crazy voodoo search shit. I've found it playing with the SERP URL and I want to share it with you.
I can't exclude that Google will fix things to prevent users from using these hacks. :-P
1 - The standard, well-known stuff
Go to Google.com (on desktop) and search for a very generic query, like [site:com], which will return results that are hosted under a .com domain.
Now click on the link "Search tools" and an option should appear: "Any time". Click on it and you'll see the full list of values that you can select:
- Past hour
- Past 24 hours
- Past week
- Past month
- Past year
- Custom range
Click on "Past hour" and Google will show you only results that have been (re)indexed in the past hour.
Click on the new appeared link "Sorted by relevance" and select "Sorted by date". In this way the results will be listed from the most "fresh" one to the oldest one and each of them should show something like "X mins ago" near the snippet.
Practical tip: instead of a generic [site:com] query you can of course search for queries more useful to you. For example, try [site:yourdomain.com] to see which documents of your website have been indexed by Google in the last hour.
2 - The voodoo stuff
If you have selected the "Past hour" option, in the URL of the search page you should see the text "qdr:h" (you could need to scroll the URL a bit to find that text).
That "h" means "hour". Let's see what happens when we manually change that letter...
Substitute that "h" with an "s" and hit "Enter". Watch how the name of the option "Past hour" has changed, it should now be "Past second"!
This new query shouldn't return any result because Google doesn't actually provide any way to restrict the results to those indexed in the last second. Still, it's pretty crazy that you can activate unimplemented or undocumented options just changing a character in the URL!
Let's try a different character. Change it with an "e" and the option should now change to "This weekend"! The results should be restricted to those that Google has (re)indexed in the last two days. But I'm not 100% sure about this, so feel free to have a look at the results to confirm or deny my impression.
Change that character again and put there an "o" . The time option will change to "Today" and the results should be very similar (but not identical) to those that appear using the official option "Past 24 hours".
Change again that character to "n" and you'll get a very practical and undocumented "Past minute" option! I've found this query quite useful to monitor news websites, to spot new articles as soon as Google indexes them.
And now, the final and mindboggling one! Change that character to "r" and see for yourself what temporal option Google will show to you! :-D
Wasn't it fun? Enjoy the hacks! :-)
As the Chief Technical Officer I manage the technical office and am responsible for the delivery and results for all of our clients. With over 130 dedicated full time technical staff, we are one of the largest SEO companies in the UK and cover all aspects of campaigns from content creation to offsite and onsite signals. I enjoy the challenges that this brings and the satisfaction from a job well done.
I love football and follow Liverpool and Brighton closely. I am also an avid traveller, having spent time working and living in America, Europe, Australia and Asia.
- Smart Traffic LtdCTO, 2009 - presentOverall management of the technical delivery services including link building, content creation & optimisation, marketing strategies, onsite & offsite optimisation, analysis, reporting etc. Working with a diverse range of clients from large corporate Blue Chips to small local companies.
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