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November 23, 2011


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Sarah Nicholas

Arrrgh, how desperately frustrating! I show students the whole link: thing specifically to assist them in identifying authoritative websites... admittedly it wasn't perfect, but it gave them something substantive, rather than me vaguely waffling on. Now I'm going to have to ask them to type in link:, which they will find confusing. Have always recommended Exalead to students as an alternative... may be banging on about it moreso from now on.

Thanks, as always, for bringing this to our attention. At least I won't be scrabbling around last minute for alternatives when I next update my teaching notes.

Arthur Weiss

It's worse than this. Now that they've removed advanced search to the cog wheel at the top right most people don't realise it's still available. So they won't use it.

Also Google's removed help information for advanced searching for several of these field codes. For example, try and find help for an intitle search. Unless it's come back in the last two weeks or so, it's gone. I suspect that this may mean that even essential options such as this are doomed.

I can understand this from a superficial commercial perspective - as they are costly to maintain. However it's this sort of accuracy that gave Google its market share in the first place. Remove the accuracy and people over time will migrate to the next best thing.

Ray Creations

Google has an advanced search page? Way wasn't I ware of this? Has anyone ever used this option?

Phil Bradley

Uh, tell me you're joking please. The link to the advanced search used to be right there on the home page for everyone to see it. It had been that way for about oh - 10 years?

Barbara Stolzenburg

Phil, thank you for this article. I feel that this is another way we are being manipulated, handicapped by the loss of options. Unfortunately many are clueless about credible sources. Thanks for the links to help with compare sites!


I'm not seeing the change on my advanced search screen yet. Will watch to see if if/when it disappears. Maddening to watch so many useful options and tools disappear.

Sheila Webber

Thanks Phil, I'll be highlighting this post for my students (we already have your blog as a feed on the class blog ;-)

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