Restrict search results by date on Bing Search

Ever since I made the decision to give up on Google (when their organic Web Search results pages became so cluttered with ads that not a single organic result appeared on my screen without me scrolling), there has been one major problem with using Bing Search instead.

I got to grips with using loc:gb (Bing's way of limiting results to UK-only websites) in place of location:uk (Google's equivalent, and only supported on Google News anyway, not on Google Web Search).

I've come to terms with the fact that, if I want to search for images that are subject to a Creative Commons licence, I have to switch to the US version of Bing Image Search, not the UK version which I have set as default.

But as most of my work involves writing timely blog/news content for clients' websites, the thing I've really missed has been the ability to restrict my results to the past day, week, month or so on.

Until now...

The solution I'm about to outline is not particularly elegant, but it works without having to switch to a different country's version of Bing, or delve into advanced search settings.

All you need to remember is the following, seemingly random sequence of characters:


Append it to the end of your Bing Search results page URL (which probably ends with &sk= by default) and you can limit your results by one of the following time periods:

d - the past 24 hours (or 'day', if you prefer...!)
w - the past week
m - the past month (not sure if this means 28 days, 30 days, exact calendar month etc)
y - the past year

So to limit results to the past week, you would paste &tbs=qdr:w on to the end of the URL.

It's a slightly awkward, messy hack, but given how messy Google has always been at limiting or sorting by date/recency, I actually don't find this method to be any less convenient than ploughing into Google's Search Tools bar only for it to claim that sorting by date means there are now zero results.

As far as I know, there's no GUI setting in Bing Search at the moment to access this functionality, but I've tested it and pasting the parameter on to the URL manually is working for me at the moment.

One more nail in the Google coffin; one more (for me) essential function I can now do with Bing. Hooray!

Update: If you find it hard to remember that URL snippet you need to add to your search results, you might want to do what I've just done.

Hit ctrl-d to bookmark/favorite this page, place it on your favorites bar, and name it &tbs=qdr (you won't be allowed to include the : but hopefully you can remember to add :d for day, :w for week, etc.).

You should now have a little link on your favorites bar, which displays &tbs=qdr as a handy reminder, and if you're ever totally stuck just click it to come to this page for a full reminder of what you need to do.

You Can't Put Your Muck In Our Dustbin

The latest instalment of Things I shouldn't put on a 'professional' blog.

2014 has been a bad year for bin collections. There's a fascinating opening line for you - buckle in, this one's gonna be a thrill ride!

When you're a borderline alcoholic (like me!), Glass Bin Day can be quite an important date on your calendar, especially when the 'glass bin' also has all of your empty cans and plastic bottles in it.

In short, everything you've drunk for the past fortnight goes in the same bin. Add to that all of your other packaging waste, and it can get pretty full, pretty fast.

Guest blogs put in the frame by Google

or, What's in a name for guest contributions?

Google's head of webspam Matt Cutts has put the cat among the pigeons once again, this time by declaring "stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done".

This rather bold statement comes in response to a spam email he received, offering free content for his blog in exchange for one or several 'dofollow' links placed in the article text, in order to pass PageRank to the target page.

You have to wonder about the kind of person who would target Matt 'Head of Webspam' Cutts with a spam email, but that's another matter entirely - the question here is, Is guest blogging dead?

It's nice to have a much more specific question to ask than the usual Is SEO dead? (no, it's not) but whichever side you're on, it's impossible to entirely disprove the opposing argument.

Turn off Date Autocomplete in Word 2007

This has been bugging me for a while now - in Word 2007, when you type the year, you're given the option to 'autocomplete' the full date in American format.

Now, this is probably useful in a lot of circumstances, but for me it's never, ever useful. First of all, I would format that date 07/01/2014, not 2014-01-07, and second of all, I just don't insert dates in either format into the vast majority of my documents.

What I do, though, is start my documents with Client Name Jan 2014 (or whatever the relevant month and year might be), and when I hit enter to insert a line break, I get the month and day tagged on to the end of that header whether I like it or not.

"It's in Settings, under Autocorrect/Autocomplete..." No, it's not, I've looked. Believe me, I've looked through every setting for anything relating to autocomplete, autocorrect or autoformatting dates, there's no toggle option for this in Word 2007.

So what's the solution? Herb Tyson has the answer here, but as it requires you to write a Macro, I've recreated the process below with screenshots for those of you who are not familiar with programming in Visual Basic (don't be scared, it's easier than it sounds).