The decline of Google Search

I have noticed Google Search (at go downhill in the last couple of years. I think they’re dumbing it down for a general audience, which is massively pointless as a general audience wouldn’t use the “power” operators anyway. It is no longer the simple, powerful search engine that it once was. I’m even considering migrating to bing, which is quite something given my negative feelings towards Microsoft! Here’s why:

Non-word characters ignored in phrase queries (double quotes)

You used to be able to surround a phrase by double-quotes to specify that you want “the exact phrase” and this worked regardless of what you had in the quotes. This now seems to have stopped working for non-word characters. For example “this will work” but e.g. “lyx -r” won’t.

Example search that can no longer be done: “lyx -r” not working

Plus + operator removed

You used to be able to add the plus operator before a word or phrase to narrow the results to those that contain the +word or +”the phrase”. This no longer works. You’ll get results that do contain the word or phrase, again normally resulting in way too many irrelevant results.

Example search that can no longer be done: firefox +linux

Update: This seems to have started working again!

Last modified: 15/10/2012 Tags:

This website is a personal resource. Nothing here is guaranteed correct or complete, so use at your own risk and try not to delete the Internet. -Stephan

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