I completely agree! I teach English to graduate students from other countries, and I teach them to use advanced search to check their grammar, word choice, etc. The old AS let you narrow by field, which is CRUCIAL to getting the English right. Now you have to scroll through a billion uses of a phrase most common in biology to find how -or even IF - it's used in American lit.
USELESS. Like you, I'm looking for alternatives. COCA, probably.