Have you heard of Google's Search Tools?
My guess is that these may be new to you. Have a look at the image above. A link to the Search Tools is on the right side of the menu. Most searchers use the default which is: Any country, Any time, Any result and related to the local city. But there are other options.
In the example above, I was doing some research for an engineering company on the value of social media. The short answers is that engineers don't seem to use social media; or at least not related to their industry. They may use Google for search and Forums for information but beyond that I think engineers are visually locked into Excel and trigonometry tables.
As a result, I was having trouble finding articles that were relevant and recent. To narrow my search I used the Search Tool to change the time period to within a month. That gave me much better results.
Give it a try. I'm sure you will be impressed.