Why it matters: Most of us know that you can filter Google's search results by time using the Tools menu. Now, the company is bringing this functionality directly to the search box. The tech giant is testing the "before:" and "after:" commands, which allows users to restrict queries to specific dates.

The Tools menu on Google's Search can filter results by the past hour, 24 hours, week, month, or year. There's also a custom range where you can select two dates. With the new commands, all these can be performed from the search box itself.

Google tweeted an example of the function being used when searching for Avengers: Endgame articles.

Users don't even have to type in an entire date if they want to search before or after a particular year, and both slash and dash formats are valid.

The commands are still in their beta test phase, and Google says more improvements will arrive before the final versions roll out; these include changes to the date displays. Currently, the filtering tools show dates next to the links it returns, but as there's no standard way for site owners to show publishing or republishing dates, these might not be accurate. Therefore, Google is looking at removing them. The exception is for news article results, which Google says have accurate publishing dates.

Finally, Google is retiring the sort-by-date option that appeared when using date filtering. Again, this feature will remain when using the News search as Google says the dates in this section tend to be correct.