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April 16, 2015

Google Removes Search Filters for Visited Pages

One by one, Google's advanced search features disappear. Google's search tools menu used to include a lot of filters and now there are only 2 filters.

Google has quietly removed the features that allowed you to restrict results to visited pages and pages you haven't visited yet. "Visited pages" and "not yet visited" are no longer included in the search tools menu.

Here's a screenshot from 2013: 9 search tools.


A screenshot from 2014: 4 search tools.


And here's the same menu today: only 2 search tools left, at least for now.


I'm sure that Google will soon remove "reading level" and "verbatim", since they're probably used by a small percentage of Google users, just like all the other advanced search features. Google now focuses on answering questions and natural language understanding, so these features for power users are no longer important.

Here's a list of cool features removed by Google in the past 5 years:

* finding sites with images
* finding search results in foreign languages ("translated foreign pages")
* restricting results to forums, reviews, blogs
* finding recipes (the feature is still available here)
* removing shopping sites from the list of search results
* blocking search results
* quick view for PDF files and Office files
* timeline view for search results.

7 comments:

  1. That has been an increasingly annoying trend I've witnessed as well. Of all of them, I miss the ability to restrict search to forums or blogs the most.

    Forums usually break all of the SEO rules in the book and do not show up as well as they should considering the quality of the content contained within their labyrinthine threads. We've been forced to evolve to writing out long strings of question queries which I think is a shame. Why not allow both methods of searching? It's very cool that Google has developed a fairly good understanding of natural language, but for research purposes the ability to search with the old power user methods is much more preferable.

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  2. Why though? The not yet visited tool was so helpful to me!!! *cries*

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  3. "Reading level" at last has disappeared also :'(

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  4. This is so frustrating! I wish they would stop doing this. :-(

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  5. any workaround or browser add-on which can make it, like seenbefore add-on years ago?

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  6. Strange way to interpret the word "development". :-(

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