Google Groups search tips

Hugo hugovk at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 6 17:46:28 UTC 2013

Google has released a new UI for Google Groups which has removed the advanced search page. After following Ben's tips below and playing around a bit more, here's some tips.

To search by date use a query like this, for example for "ransomeware":

ransomeware AND before:2004/01/01!search/ransomeware$20AND$20before$3A2004$2F01$2F01

That query will work from any page, but if you're in a group page (e.g.!forum/alt.usage.english ) you can select "Search for 'ransomeware' in any group" in the dropdown that appears below the query box.

You can also use add in something like "AND after:1985" but it might be easier to leave it out; Google's Usenet archives dates back to 1981.

Still, for a search engine, Google has some problems with search outside of their main web search. The above query for ransomeware returns 10 results, most from 2003 with one from 2000 and one from 1987. But if I change the before year from 2004 to anything earlier, it decides there are no results. 

Also, the above query only gives results for "ransomware" (one e) even though I'd spelled it with two. Putting "ransomeware" in quotes returns results for that spelling (but later, so the year needs to be later too).!search/%22ransomeware%22$20AND$20before$3A2006$2F01$2F01

Oh, and it's not consistent. After trying all that, now "ransomware AND before:2002/01/01" and "ransomware AND before:2000/01/01" queries that didn't return anything now work as expected.


> On Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 8:49 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
>> The most natural place to search for this term is Usenet, I think. But
>> the Advanced Google Groups Search page apparently has been moved or
>> obliterated. My bookmark for the search webpage no longer works.
> I don't know what's going on with the Advanced Search page, but I
> noticed that search options are available if you're searching within a
> group, e.g.:
> There's a down arrow in the search box which, when clicked, reveals
> advanced search parameters. I have no idea why these options don't
> seem to be available from the main search page.
> --bgz
> --
> Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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