Tag Archives: search

Google’s “real-time hack”

The tech world is abuzz with the news that there is a not-so secret URL hack to change a normal Google search string into a near-live search. 

Which is exciting because it makes a Google search like Twitter! And we know how much the media loves Twitter. 

Trouble is, the reports all seem to rely on users being able to access a ‘search options’ link on the Google homepage, and then limit searches to the past day. Once you’ve done that you can start tweaking the web address to narrow down your search window.

For whatever reason (UK user? Mac user?) I can’t seem to find this ‘search options’ link. 

However, on your behalf, and thanks to a useful post on ReadWriteWeb, I’ve tracked down the relevant URL, and here it is:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&tbo=1&tbs=qdr:n1,sbd:1&q=

It doesn’t click through – you’ll need to copy and paste. 

The crucial timing bit is the qdr:n1 

The “n” specifies minutes – the “1”, fairly obviously, specifies 1 of them. 

Change this to “s” to switch to seconds. Change the number directly after it to specify how many minutes or seconds you require. 

For a longer search, change the “n” to “d” for days. 

Then all you have to do is add your search string directly after the last “=” sign. If you’re looking for Freelance Unbound, you’d add freelance+unbound to the end of the URL…

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I can’t seem to StumbleUpon myself

I recently reported a minor traffic spike from a bookmark on Reddit, which rekindled my interest in social bookmarking sites. 

So imagine my excitement when I got an inbound referring link from StumbleUpon, which is one step better at number three in the social bookmarking rankings

“One of our members added your page to the Writing topic on StumbleUpon. Each time our members who are interested in Writing “stumble upon” your page using our toolbar, it will record an entry on your referral logs.”

Great, I thought. I wonder who did that. And what my StumbleUpon link looks like.

I’m still wondering, as it happens. Because, you know, the thing about StumbleUpon is that its search function is utter rubbish. 

Seriously – for a site that “helps you discover the best of the web”, it has the least helpful search I have seen for a long while. With hundreds of thousands of sites to trawl through, there’s minimal filtering and very little guidance on how to find the category I was looking for.

And, stupidly, the notification I got from StumbleUpon didn’t actually send me directly to the link. Why not, for heaven’s sake? It’s the screamingly obvious thing to do.

The main message from StumbleUpon was that I should advertise on the site to drive even more readers to Freelance Unbound. But, since I can’t actually find myself there, I don’t think I’ll bother.

Just in case I’m being really dim, though, if anyone manages to find the link to my post there, do please let me know…

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Google is down…

…and I feel as if I’ve lost a limb. Something is clearly wrong with this picture. Repeat: it’s only software, it’s only software…

[And there are actually other search engines. Who’d have thought?]

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