Using Google’s Date Parameters to Find Newly Indexed Pages

Matt Cutts recently posted about better date searching on Google. It was pretty intriguing, because there are some interesting things you can do with this from an SEO perspective.

For example, if you have just added a new section to your site, and you want to find out if the new pages have been indexed yet, you might start with a “site:yourdomain.com” query. This can work fine for small sites, but if you have a site with even a couple hundred pages it starts to get a bit complicated.

What if you could tell Google to show you how many new pages it has found in the past 7 days? Or, 8 days? Or 9? You can do all these things by adding a parameter to the end of the URL of the search results page.

Let’s look at the example that Matt provided, a query that shows how many new pages were added to the Google index for mattcutts.com in the past 7 days:

http://www.google.com/search?q=site:mattcutts.com&as_qdr=d7

The key is the “&as_qdr=d7” at the end of this URL. It tells Google to limit the search to the last 7 days.

Here is a summary of the various parameters you can set, straight from Matt’s post:

d[number] – past number of days (e.g.: d10)
w[number] – past number of weeks
y[number] – past number of years

You can get the results over the past 2 weeks, for example, as follows:

http://www.google.com/search?q=site:mattcutts.com&as_qdr=w2

Unfortunately, you can’t simply add the parameter to the end of your query. In other words, you can’t simply try “site:mattcutts.com?as_qdr=w2”. You need to do your site:yourdomain.com search, get the results, then add the parameter to the end of the URL and refresh the page.

Nonetheless, this procedure is manageable, especially when you are really trying to find out about the indexing of those new pages on your site.

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