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Bing’s “Narrow By Date” Search Tool

The Bing Challenge Daily Journal Week 2 Search Tools, Features and Options - Narrow By Date

Today’s post is day 8 of the 31 day Bing Challenge, where I’ve completely cut myself off from Google, to focus on Bing, for the entire month of March, 2011. Since I’m examining Bing’s search tools, features and options this week, I decided to spend today taking a look at the “Narrow By Date” search tool. So far, 8 days down and only 23 more to go.

Day 8: Narrow By Date – Tuesday, March 8th

The Challenge Day 8, Tuesday March 8th (2011-03-08)Often when I am researching a trending topic, I will use a search feature like Bing’s Narrow By Date filter options to find content that is more current. This helps save time in reviewing posts and articles that may contain info that is no longer accurate.

This is not a search tool that is unique to Bing, but it has a few aspects that make different.

Bing Narrow By Date Search Option

Bing Narrow By Date Search Option

1. It doesn’t appear on every SERP. It seems to be omitted from more general queries. Possibly in order to make the searcher try another query before narrowing by date.

2. There is a timestamp tag on to results that indicate how long ago their were published, indexed and/or the page was updated. This is a nice way to let searchers know how fresh the listing is.

3. The default option for displaying search results regardless of time is of course All Results.

Search Option - Narrow By Date

Narrow By Date with Timestamp

4. The Past 24 hours option pulls only recent content published in the last day that Bing has indexed. It is worth noting that these searches often contain lower quality content due to the fact that these SERPs contain smaller sampling sizes and, by nature of timing, fewer data points (like links) to gauge a URL’s quality. Also, content published within the past 24 hours, that Bing has not yet spidered and added to their index, will not show up for these searches.

5. The Past Week option is a good choice for finding fresher content of higher quality, especially for hot trending topics. Since Bing spiders and indexes new URL’s at a slower rate than Google, Past Week searches will give you a better collection of new webpages.

6. The Past Month is a little less reliable for finding new content. Since this “Narrow By Date” feature pulls pages that have been updated within the selected timeframe, the monthly option is heavily weighted to older content than fresh pages.

23 more days left…

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Share your thoughts on the Bing Narrow By Date search engine featuresWhat do you think of the Bing’s Narrow By Date tool? Feel free to leave a comment.

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Reader Comments

  • Zebe | August 22, 2011

    I can’t find Bing’s “narrow by date” tool. That’s why I usually search through Google. I like Bing, but I need the date tool for my searches. It’s not anywhere on the page.

  • James | August 23, 2011

    Hi Zebe,

    The “narrow by date” feature on the will only show up for select searches. If you do a search and it does not appear in the search engine results, then change your a little by adding another keyword or two and it will often appear.

  • Zig | October 22, 2011

    Having “narrow by date” only show up for select searches is CRAZY!

    I have NEVER seen a Bing search result show the “Narrow by Date” option.
    That basically makes Bing completely and utterly useless to me.

    Microsoft have missed a major opportunity here.

  • Magnus Blomberg | October 22, 2011

    I think it’s one great evidence on MS making things more complicated than it should be. Unfortunately they do this so often regarding all their products. I love Bing, but the narrow by date is for me the most important feature, and I switch to Google all the time because of the lack of the narrow by date feature.

  • tom | December 09, 2011

    A quick guess: If MS implemented “filter by date” they would get a pretty big rise in users, so the only conclusion must be that such a feature must be very difficult to implement and they just don’t have the brain power to do so.

    Now back to Google.

  • Norma Gemma | December 27, 2011

    I think the reason that it’s not always offered is, as usual, money. Perhaps the more hits they deliver and the more we have to keep digging for what we really want means more opportunities for MS to deliver ads to us?

    This inability to narrow-by-date is what keeps Bing my second choice in a search engine. Wish it weren’t so, but the ability to filter results by date of update is crucial to me.

  • Michael | January 06, 2012

    Weak. I use the date range function continually in Google, with nearly every search. I don’t want a bunch of old useless results. All Bing has is day, week, and month? Microsoft needs to get with the program.

  • Andrew | January 20, 2012

    I switched over to Bing from Google today, but unfortunately I have to switch right back. Crappy date search = no good.

  • Gideon | January 29, 2012

    I’m trying to switch to Bing but I can’t make the narrow by date option work, and without it I will not be able to use Bing! I wish they would change this fast!

  • Frank | March 13, 2012

    Mee too, i’m using google cause the lack of narrow by date on bing.

  • Simon | June 27, 2012

    See here to enable narrow by date on Bing for any searches:

  • James | June 27, 2012


    Just to clarify, you only need to add the string “&tbs=qdr:d” to your Bing search result URL’s to re-enable the Narrow By Date feature.

    Also, I’m now getting the date filter tool showing up above the listings, just below the search box.

  • Pete | June 30, 2012

    If someone can write a Firefox addon that automatically adds “&tbs=qdr:d” to Bing search queries that would be cool.

  • Joe Bedlocks | July 20, 2012

    Exactly why I dont use Bing becuase they dont have this feature and they wont add it. Every search I do I get results that are not even relavant anymore, having the search by date is the only way to dispose of this stuff. They dont listen so I dont care to use Bing. Microsoft = losers they are so out of touch its not even funny. #Smoked by #google

  • layfnatu | October 03, 2012

    The “narrow by time range” filter formerly in the left rail now only appears if you select the “News” search type from the “More” options.

    • James | October 03, 2012

      @layfnatu – Thanks for the update. It does appear that the narrow by date now only shows up for News searches. That’s too bad. It was a great tool that helped me find more recent results. At least Google still has it available for their normal search results.

  • JJ | December 07, 2012

    This is a perfect example of Bings failure with the ‘Narrow by date’ feature!

    I searched Bing for how to ‘narrow Bing searches by date’. Today is December 7 yet this old article from March was at the top of the list! With no option in any way to sort the 1,00,000+ results.

    If you happen to read this could you please respond if there is a way to have narrow by date as an option on any query. It seems to randomly appear on my searches but up shows up less than half the time!


  • datesearcher | March 11, 2013

    You may want to try searching with yahoo, which is now powered by bing. Looks like it shows the narrow by date feature on general searches.

  • Bing’s Updated Date Searching | Search Engine Showdown | April 02, 2013

    […] the change at Bing? In part, I think it may be due to others complaining about the frequent lack of the date limit. I also wonder (and hope) that Bing has […]

  • John | March 24, 2015

    this is the #1 reason why I can’t switch to for my day to day search tool. I’m stuck with Google until Microsoft realizes how important this option should be enabled by default for ALL search results.

  • Harry | September 29, 2015

    The Bing search by date is not very useful. Change your search engine to Google in IE where you can set a custom range in “Search tools”. Go to Settings, Manage add-ons, Search Providers, and click on “Find more search providers” at the bottom of the window. Choose Google and set it as default.

    NOTE: I live overseas and apparently the (very limited) date options don’t show up in Bing unless you set your location to the United States!

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