Boolean + operator removed? Why?

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Boolean + operator removed? Why? InnateTech 10/20/11 7:31 PM
It appears that the + operator, requiring a search term to be present in every result returned, has been removed. 


This is going to seriously reduce Google's utility.
This message has been hidden because it was flagged for abuse.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? masinger 10/21/11 5:24 AM
Type [+rent +Tauton]

At the top of the results page, this appears:

Showing results for rent Taunton
The + operator has been replaced.
To search for an exact word or phrase, use double quotation marks: "rent" "Taunton"

Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Kelly F 10/21/11 10:48 AM
Hi everyone,

We've made the ways you can tell Google exactly what you want more consistent by expanding the functionality of the quotation marks operator. In addition to using this operator to search for an exact phrase, you can now add quotation marks around a single word to tell Google to match that word precisely. 
So, if in the past you would have searched for [magazine +latina], you should now search for [magazine "latina"].

We're constantly making changes to Google Search - adding new features, tweaking the look and feel, running experiments, - all to get you the information you need as quickly and as easily as possible. This recent change is another step toward simplifying the search experience to get you to the info you want.


Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? masinger 10/21/11 11:02 AM
How does requiring us to type two characters instead of one in order to ensure that a key word appears in the search results simplify the search experience? For that matter, how do random and unannounced changes requiring us to change our documentation (and you you're own - which you haven't done) help anyone? If you want to expand the functionality of quotation marks, that's great, but why remove functions that have worked before?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Colt45ws 10/22/11 11:58 PM
I agree with masinger. Ive used the boolean "+" operator for as long as I can remember. Its ingrained in my search methodology. It aggravates me every time I make a search then have to turn around and adjust the search to current standards.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Project Argelia 10/23/11 2:09 PM
So... if i want to make a search like this: +better "search engine" -google +bing +altavista +infoseek
Being "search engine" a search for an exact phrase in the page, +better +bing +altavista +infoseek a search for these terms in the page and -google an exclusion on that particular result I'm looking for... what should I do now?

Do it the old fashion way like a 9yo searching for: cute puppies with big eyes for adoption not for sale, a search that could spans 1,920,000 results or do it and throws some idiotic results... now, how should I replace "cute puppies" with "big eyes" +for +adoption -not -"for sale" for an exact search like we all used to do it?

While you answer I'm moving to Bing. They have an even more stupid search engine, but at least I expected that from Microsoft. Plus some cute wallpapers...
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? kkbfly 10/23/11 6:43 PM
like Project Argelia, i am wondering the same thing. the changes seem to make searches more difficult not easier, and requires more key strokes overall.
it's a terrible move to someone used to boolean. 
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? LowLevel 10/24/11 10:02 AM
The new way brokens a feature related to the search of single letters. Please note the difference of results between [intitle:"a b c"] and [intitle:"+a +b +c"].

Now it is no more possible to force single letters inside quotes.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? MilesPrower 10/24/11 12:02 PM
There better be an option to my account preferences coming if you do not plan to change this back to the basic fundamental rules and parsing of search queries based in boolean logic.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? S-J-S 10/24/11 12:21 PM
Do a search on Backwards +Compatibility and you might see how breaking it is Bad Thing.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? BobEnt 10/24/11 12:21 PM
Kelly, it sounds like you don't know what the + operator did. It didn't match an exact spelling of the word, it forced the search engine to only include results that contained that word. That functionality is now lost. We can't craft specific searches any more.
The quotation mark operator isn't new and hasn't changed. It has always worked that way. It hasn't replaced the plus operator, because it serves a different purpose.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? masinger 10/24/11 1:08 PM
Considering that Kelly F's corporate-speak was marked as an "answer" the moment it was posted, I'm guessing that there will be no further response. Probably sloppier search results = more ads.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Yes MeSir 10/24/11 2:15 PM
I've spent years training people in the power of '+' searching, they won't understand why you have done this.  It looks like corporate arrogance to me.  So are 'OR' and '-' vulnerable to the same treatment?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Atribeistheanswer 10/24/11 2:40 PM
Will you have something on the website to explain this?
That means thousands or more computer books will need to be changed.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? stilespj 10/24/11 2:53 PM
I like  the motto: "If it is not broke, don't fix it"
In spite of the corporate Kellyspeak, this is a step backwards for Google seach, no boubt about it!!!
p.s.  Kelly's response is NOT the "Best Answer", no matter how many times it may be presented..
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? knewt888 10/24/11 5:16 PM
When they went from doing an AND search to an OR search the + (or "", now) became necessary.  If they'd left well-enough alone there would never have been a problem.  The early appeal of google was that all terms were included in the search, leading to fewer results.  This is how a search engine should work.  Randomly making search terms optional is a failure, if a term is optional (ie not specific enough) why would I bother typing it into the search box?
Perhaps they need an "[] I am not a fscking idiot" checkbox on the settings page to revert it to the old behaviour.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? bmh_ca 10/24/11 6:04 PM
Dear Google,

Your change "remove + operator" has been considered, and it has been determined to be: unwanted.

Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? matt.e 10/24/11 6:13 PM
Most stupid change ever.

Why is the worst answer marked as the best answer?

Kelly is a Google employee, yet doesn't seem to understand how their product used to work before they broke it - the + and "" are NOT interchangeable.

As everyone hates this change are they going to put it back how it was or is this just another example of "the customer is always wrong"?

I've been avoiding bing, but it looks as though i'm going to have to check it out - horror!

Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Kelly F 10/24/11 6:47 PM
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I especially appreciate everyone's passion for search operators (if only every Google Search user were aware of these tools like you are...).

One thing I'd like to add to my original post is that, as with any change we make to our search engine, we put a lot of thought into this modification, but we're always interested in user feedback.

I hope that you'll continue to give us feedback in the future so that we can make your experience on Google more enjoyable.


Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? HinkcleyScott 10/24/11 7:11 PM
Kelly, This looks like it breaks one of the ways I tend to do a fair number searches, where there are multiple terms of which I require at least one to be present.

Example: when I want to find posts/sites/etc about the mounting post breaking on product X when inserting or removing but not necessarily breaking while turning the handle:
   +"Product X" +(insert OR remove) post +(break OR crack OR snap)

Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Brian Handscomb 10/25/11 12:11 AM
And I love how Google's "Inside Search" actually TELLS you to use the +

Seriously though...

"how" "is" "this"

+better +than +this

This rate, next thing is instead of -minus they'll replace it with NOT("minus")

Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? searchmeplus 10/25/11 12:14 AM
If you're going to remove the plus, please update your help text everywhere.

still mentions it under Query Refinements  Plus (+) Operator ... If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can make sure we pay attention to it by putting a “+” sign in front of it.

If only it were correct...
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? melpadden 10/25/11 12:42 AM
I would seriously urge Google to reconsider this before they annoy many more power users. I don't know if it's even a Power User trait to use the +operator, it's certainly one of the most often used characters in my search strings and a quick poll around the office reveals a lot of people who feel the same. And I don't even work in IT, strictly speaking.
If Google are going to continue dumbing down their search and removing these popular options, please consider a "classic mode" or an "I'm not an idiot/I'm a sentient being" button alongside the "I'm feeling lucky" button to activate a search with the full range of options turned on.
Pretty Please.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? PH1984 10/25/11 12:51 AM
How does forcing searches to be more general and returning thousands of extra (useless) choices benefit anybody?

The only possible answer I can imagine, is that by forcing users to plod through dozens of extra pages while looking for one that looks right, Google gets to bombard us with lots of extra ads.

This is a change dictated by Marketing, as there is no possible way for it to be of any value to a user in a way that didn't already exist.
Overall rating
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? FJimenez 10/25/11 1:22 AM
Kelly, here's my feedback. Put it back!!!

So, if I want to search for all pages that contain the word 'flying' and the exact phrase 'red monkey', and I absolutely need to have the phrase 'red monkey' in there, before I would search for:

flying +"red monkey"

How exactly am I supposed to do it now?

This change is absolutely absurd. Those who didn't know how to use the + operator, will not know how to use the " operators. Those that did know now have to learn a new (and less capable) way of doing things.

This doesn't have anything to do with people doing searches for Google+ and screwing up the results because of the operator, does it?

While you are at it, put back the link to cached in the front page, and not hidden behind a mouseover. You guys seem to be slowly undoing what has always made Google great, and for no good reason
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? rjchubb 10/25/11 4:12 AM
This is daft, you're merging two features into one here.

The '+' means always include the following

The quote marks means search for the contents exactly as specified.

There is SOME overlap between these but not always as demostrated but examples in the comments above.

I was having right jip yesterday trying to get sensible results yesterday and this change seems to be the reason!

Just change it back, it was simple enough as it was. You're just removing functionallity by doing this.

Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? jessharpur 10/25/11 4:30 AM
Kelly, I notice you came back after your 'best answer' but only 1 out of 21 people found it helpful (at the time I wrote this). If you want to maintain any credibility then I suggest you answer the very specific questions about how to do particular searches using the new search syntax. For example, FJimenez asked how to get the same results with the new system that would have been returned previously by entering the search term:

flying +"red monkey"

That's not the only question that's been asked here. A 'best answer' would be one that actually provided an answer. If the answer is "you can't", then just say so. -Kellyspeak
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Dan Johnson 10/25/11 5:09 AM
Perhaps FJimenez has hit on one possibility:

This doesn't have anything to do with people doing searches for Google+ and screwing up the results because of the operator, does it?

Plus and minus signs are boolean search operators. It makes sense to have both operators, not just one. Users who have never used the boolean operators have probably never used quotation marks in their search terms, either.

Simplifying the user experience and improving the user experience do not always coincide. This is one of the times when they do not. Google is making their site less functional, and requiring extra work on behalf of its "Power Users."
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Spaced1999 10/25/11 5:23 AM
Bing still uses the + operator, right?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? new666uk 10/25/11 5:36 AM
As a regular 'power user' I tend to script my searches in order to minimise the amount of chaff I have to wade through to get to the relevant content. 
This sounds like a step backwards. I'm assuming no-one in the dev team have looked at the 'voice of the customer' to see what we actually want and there's probably no benefit analysis either.
Being a suspicious sole I'm leaning towards the conspiracy theory that this will provide more hits therefore making more marketable page views for google.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? kirbini 10/25/11 5:49 AM
Hi, Kelly.

Instead of treating us to marketing pablum and drivel, could you please answer the above questions directly?  How does one today get the results that 

flying +"red monkey"

produced previously?  If you don't understand the technical nature of that question then please get someone who does to provide an adequate response.

I have to say I'm seriously disappointed in this change.  The + was absolutely my most used search operator.  It is why I switched from Alta Vista fo many years ago.  

So "do no evil" is just a catchphrase now?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? smumford 10/25/11 6:02 AM

Kelly F -

This morning I tried to search for "4627 OAR BL 417" as a function of my job. If there were no hits I wanted to know that up front, rather than go through about 31,500 results hoping that one of the results will have what I requested. Because I now have to examine the first 50 hits (at least) to see if anything looks right I have spent several minutes going through the results, finding "Blvd" rather than BL, the numbers in any order, and OARLOH and Oars rather than OAR.

I would very much like a work-around for these problems:

- The "" indicating a phrase should be searched as a phrase no longer works

- Assumed synonyms are inserted although I specifically requested a unique phrase

 I perform this kind of search several times every day. Because of the inability of Google to provide the information I have specifically entered I will spend at least an hour a week looking at information that is not helpful. This decreases my productivity such that I will lose a week every year to this change.

I sincerely hope this kind of feedback will assist your search improvement team understand that this particular change is not an improvement.

Thank you for your time and attention


Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? JohnALT2 10/25/11 6:29 AM
Please, a clear explanation needed for Google's and Google users' benefit.

I feel unable to properly assess this as there is only partial information provided.

1) Where's the link to the detailed change explanation? (important)

2) Precisely how does "inquotes" behavior differ from before?

3) How will searching [abc def ghi] differ from ["abc" "def" "ghi"]

4) Is '+' operator being retained as a non-promoted legacy/compatibility operator?

5) If not, why? (e.g. is there a new function planned for the '+') 

Also will precise "" search now be precise? (e.g. "abc=" not return results for [abc] or [])

There may be a lot of miss-informed complaints due to lack of information provided. Though I suspect that most of the worries may be confirmed.

Personally, unless the existing "+" is retained as a valid functional operator, even if not listed, then I can neither see the benefit nor the sense in it unless logic AND (must include) becomes the default behavior and the "+" in [+abc +def] is ignored without error.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Mr Lang 10/25/11 8:33 AM
How are we supposed to distinguish between
- "A phrase that we'd like to see in the results", and
- +"A phrase that we must see in the results".
Also, if "" now equals +, then if we really don't want to see a phrase, then do we still use -"don't want to see this phrase"?  If so, then surely the engine should return nothing, because that says that we must not see something that we must see.  Which is nonsensical.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Christopher Rose 10/25/11 8:39 AM
So basically typing two quotation marks is more efficient than typing one plus sign?

Only in the Googleplex.

It is staggering how Google gets stupider as it gets bigger and richer. Never mind Occupy Wall Street - how about we Occupy Google?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Kelly F 10/25/11 9:54 AM
I just tested out the quotes operator to make sure that it still works for phrases and it does. I searched for [from her eyes] and then ["from her eyes"] and got different results. I also tried [from her "eye"] and [from her eye] and got different results for each query, which is how it is intended to work.

Many people understand that putting quotes around a phrase tells a search engine to search for that exact phrase. This change applies that same idea to a specific word.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? wfiske 10/25/11 10:27 AM
Kelly, you are still not addressing the central issue.  I used the + sign to retrieve pages that had to have the word or term in them.  If the term wasn't there, I didn't want the page.

Does the quotes operator work the same way? In Boolean logic, the quotes would normally say "search for this term precisely as given," but it would not require that the word be present on the page if there are other search terms in the query as well.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? sdsalero 10/25/11 11:10 AM
God forbid Google ever create a new service with the words 'and' or 'or' in them, because then they'd need to remove those boolean operators from their previously easy-to-understand search parameters.

It is patently clear that Google only removed '+' because it was causing problems with people searching for information related to their new Google+ service.  I think it would have been far better to create an exception (or whatever) so that the search engine recognized 'google+' as a separate term, rather than breaking basic long-standing boolean search standards.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? efalk 10/25/11 12:15 PM
There's a difference between "exact match" and "required match".  How are we supposed to differentiate them now?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? efalk 10/25/11 12:15 PM
Oh, and is the '-' (forbidden match) still supported?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? plumegravated 10/25/11 12:18 PM
I don't understand why you can't just admit that it's because of Google+. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. You've gone and made things more complicated and thrown out precedence set by Google and other search engines for decades. To make things better for the users? Suure.
Does not being evil involve honesty these days?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? booleanstrings 10/25/11 4:32 PM
This change also leads to inconsistency! If I search for 'more than one word' in quotation marks Google alters the phrase.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? HinkcleyScott 10/25/11 4:48 PM
Kelly - 
Still hoping for an answer on how to handle grouped searches with the new setup.

term1 +term2 +(term3 OR "phrase one" OR term5)
Gives me things that have term2 and at least one of: terms 3, 5 or phrase one. With term1 strongly influencing the results but not being required.

What do I do under the new method?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? InnateTech 10/25/11 5:16 PM
Note also that this makes using Google Scholar for legal research more or less useless. Not being able to require the presence of a citation or particular string in the results basically implodes any appeal Google has gained for legal uses. 

I don't think this has anything to do with Google+, considering that the + comes at the end of a word there, and so ought to be fairly easily distinguished from a search operator. I find the idea that it will drive more page views and require longer dwell time in search results much more likely. 

Ironically, the Google Scholar Advanced Search Tips still recommends the use of the + operator. 

Just revert this change, Google. You know it's the right thing to do. 
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? InnateTech 10/25/11 5:18 PM
See, as of Oct 25 2011:


Google Scholar also supports most of the advanced operators in Google web search:

  • the "+" operator makes sure your results include common words, letters or numbers that Google's search technology generally ignores, as in [+de knuth];
  • the "-" operator excludes all results that include this search term, as in [flowers -author:flowers];
  • phrase search only returns results that include this exact phrase, as in ["as you like it"];
  • the "OR" operator returns results that include either of your search terms, as in [stock call OR put];
  • the "intitle:" operator as in [intitle:mars] only returns results that include your search term in the document's title.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? edward2020 10/25/11 5:39 PM
This makes your product unusable to me - seriously! Using google search for security purposes (using queries to find exposed servers, info, etc) now seems rather useless. Thanks for making life more difficult for me, I hope I can return the favor some day.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? clone2727 10/25/11 7:59 PM
I have used the + operator in almost every search I have made since I switched to using Google from Yahoo many years ago (since it is a very powerful tool in narrowing down relevant search results), and now a sudden switch in the usage of the search to "simplify" my search has made Google search nearly unusable for me now.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? cellninja 10/26/11 1:25 AM
So Kelly, simple question :)
the update will make ( "Word1 Word2" ) would be the same as searching ( +"Word1 Word2" )
so how do i do the search where im uncertian about a phrase ie
old search method : ( +"i want to" Search this "but im not sure about this line" )
Where "but im not sure about this line" is someting thats not a +"word1 word2" cus im not sure if its in the webpage im searching for but i know the "i want to" is hence the +.. so the problem is
new search method : ( "i want to" search this "but im not sure about this line" )
... dunno where to begin. do i search like this  
( "i want to" search this [maybe]"but im not sure about this line" )
( "i want to" search this /"but im not sure about this line" )
and so on
( "i want to" search this *"but im not sure about this line" )
cus im not allways sure about the "word1 word2" but i wana include it but not make it so the site HAS to have it.
+"word1 word2" != "word1 word2"
( "i want to" search this §"but im not sure about this line" )
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? UKTW 10/26/11 4:04 AM
Did anyone think to tell users about this change or did you just wait and see. I often use, or advise the use of, "+" and would not have known it had gone had I not been on the forum for a different reason today ... by the way, why is there no link to, say, or some other simple help page on the Google homepage? How are users supposed to know how to tweak searches?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? jbbryant 10/26/11 4:56 AM
Looks like in order to protect Google+ they have become Google-

[Google -"customer service" +arrogance -"market share" +stupidity]
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Meena Mid Roses 10/26/11 6:52 AM
I don think its for google utility since we can search by typing it as magazine + latina in a search terms but instead of this y do we go for magazine " latina "...  I don understand for wat purpose this + operator was removed by google.. But we go for quotation marks instead of operators... Y so?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? masinger 10/26/11 6:56 AM
I have read conjecture that [+Name] is going to be what Google's competitor for Twitter is going to use instead of Twitter's [#name]. It would make sense, then, that Google would gut its search engine technology in order to... sorry, I've got nothing.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? e_scott 10/26/11 8:27 AM
This is a bad move.  

First, it breaks a lot of existing functionality that I use all the time.  How am I supposed to specify a search like +"Google's arrogance" now?  You see, the plus sign actually did something different from just specifying that the word(s) appear exactly as written.  It specified that all pages returned *must* include that term exactly as written.  This might seem obscure to 90% of Google users but to the 10% who are power users it's a big time saver.

Second, it makes us type twice as many characters.  This may not seem like a big deal if you work in a job in which you perform a Google search every few weeks, like marketing executives.  But if you work in a job where you execute dozens of Google searches a day, it's a pain.  And it makes one-armed searching maddening (which I do end up having to do frequently when I'm holding one of my kids on my lap or talking on the phone).

Finally, it tells me that Google is not serious about preserving backwards compatibility.  This is a big deal.  The next time I think about giving a conference presentation to my colleagues on power searching, I'll likely base it on another search engine with a more stable API (and one that permits wildcard searches inside words like Google used to do).
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? ferdGerbeler 10/26/11 11:03 AM
I get it, i really do, you guys have to maintain ever raising profits while appeasing your masters at the NSA and DHS... but seriously?  come on, google has been a useful tool for searching for many years... if you start forcing powerusers to other engines the amount of data you can collect to turn over to the government for tracking and tracing our every though may be unsatisfactory.. have you considered that its not just your users that this is pissing off, but the dark forces that pull the strings as well?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? randomuser12345 10/26/11 11:13 AM
This is terrible. Please reconsider this change.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? PaulJones 10/26/11 12:26 PM
Gack!  This is both a legacy and a usability issue. 
First, many users use the + on a day to day basis.
Second, now I have another character to type to emulate the single character, not to mention the sheer dislogic of deciphering  -"badphrase" 
Would that exclude "badphrase", even though the quotes indicate "badphrase" is required?

And when did "anythong" not match precisely, most likely offering "anything" as a possible alternate?

Please rollback to the +xyz means results MUST include xyz. 

An exact phrase match on a single word simply isn't a functional equivalent.

Worse, the more specific my search, the less likely I am to get the results I am looking for.
This is a serious step backwards for usable, relevant search results. 

I really dislike comparing search engines, but if I want reduced functionality and the loss of the long tail, I'll go use Bing.

Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? PatienceBu 10/26/11 12:34 PM
Color me ticked.  Like some of the users above, I regularly (and have for as long as I can remember) used both + and " together to get what I need - because I'm an intelligent person who uses intelligent search functionality, as provided to me by Google, to return intelligent responses to my intelligent queries (slice of humble pie, anyone?).  Aside from the obvious stupidity of replacing one character (+) with two (because you have to put the quotations at either end of the term), you're not improving ANYTHING.  You're limiting functionality that we've utilized for years for some reason that would appear to be nebulous at best.  The two operators (+ and ") were used for two entirely different purposes.  You can't just turf one and tell us the other one will do.  Change it back, please!
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? ds9boon 10/26/11 1:08 PM
The great "cop out" response.

Quote: "we put a lot of thought into this modification, but we're always interested in user feedback"

That is a blanket statement.  Evidence shows other wise.
e.g. - I use GMAIL offline - why would I want a buzz or GOOGLE + link/icon?  

The "+" operand, is an equivilent of the '-' for not.

If a lot of 'thought' was put into the modification - doubling the key strokes for an operand is not in anyone's interest.

This makes touch screen browsing for Google Searches more difficult.

It's not thought through well at all.

I don't want Google+  I am happy to have an option for it.  I don't want it showing.
I fail to understand why so many people should be dis-advantaged.

As for a software product, a flippant, dismissive answer, combined with a fundemental change to search syntax is a big step backwards.

The Google product is compromised, the reputation undermined.
It's as disappointing as the forced "New Tab" page in chrome.

FWIW = If you never used the "+" operator, you won't miss it.  

For a search, "this" "set" "of" "strings"  <> +this +set +of +strings

The results are not the same.

Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? edward2020 10/26/11 4:38 PM
What's even more maddening is that this "community manager" doesn't even understand the core product for the company she works for. And, apparently, neither did the person who made this decision. 
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? neel2312 10/26/11 4:52 PM
A classic example of decision made without considering what the users want.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? The_Mad_Literalist 10/26/11 7:23 PM
Man, this doesn't work at all. Like, let's say I want to find a video related to the movie "The Fountain". And since it's just called "The Fountain", I'd prefer not to include any videos with the phrase "The Fountain Of", so I don't get results related to the new pirates of the Caribbean movie. I go onto video search, using the query +"The Fountain" -"The fountain of" I get 0 results. See? I know videos about "The fountain" that don't use the phrase "the fountain of" both exist and are common. Here's an example from youtube. True, the search does turn up links to the IMDB and clevver galleries... but I use google to search the whole internet, not just as a content aggregator from a few larger websites.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? aaronlawrence 10/26/11 7:58 PM
Could you explain your understanding of the difference between these three searches?

[jason bob]
[jason "bob"]
[jason +bob]

Hint: the second two ARE NOT THE SAME
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Gregg DesElms 10/26/11 8:21 PM
The plus symbol has/had nothing to do with what the double-quotes do/did; and the latter cannot possibly be a substitute for the former.  Apparently the people in the department in Google which controls how the search engine works did not fully understand how the plus symbol worked, and when and how to use it.  If they had, they would never have thought that using the double-quotes could possibly achieve what the plus symbol achieved.  This, I fear, is what happens when the old-timers in an organization (in this case, Google) leave it, and new people take their places and do not know as much about the product (in this case, Google Search) as did the old-timers.  Apparently, someone in Google has gotten this really, really wrong.

The purpose of the plus symbol is/was to ensure that whatever followed it, whether or not in double quotes, was present on the pages shown in the search results.

If only a single word followed the plus symbol, then it didn't need to be in quotes.  But if a phrase followed the plus symbol, then it needed to be in quotes.  In either case, whatever immediately followed the plus was required to be on the search results page... that was the plus symbol's purpose.

Without the plus symbol, then this search...

dogs cats "things with tails"

...could result in pages with the word "dogs" on it, or the word "cats" on it, or the phrase "things with tails," on it; or any combination of any two or three of those.  Of course, the first results on the page would contain all three, but without using any plus symbols anywhere, the results fell apart pretty quickly and pages with just one or two of the three would be among the top search results.

However, if one specified this search query...

+dogs +cats +"things with tails"

...then many, many more of the search results on the first page or two of results would contain all three before even those results started to fall apart somewhere on a subsequent pageful of results.

So, the plus sign, then, tells Google to insist, in effect, that whatever follows it is, in fact, on the page listed in the search results.

The minus sign helped narrow the results so that, in this query, for example...

+dogs +cats +"things with tails" -mice -rats

...whatever results are returned will not contain pages with the words "mice" or "rats" on it, even if "dogs" and "cats" and the phrase "things with tails" is.

That is/was the function of the plus symbol, and as can be seen in the examples I just gave, the plus sign has about as much to do with the double-quotes as dogs have to do with cats.

How is it possible that Google's own people did not understand how the plus (and minus) symbols worked; and that the double-quotes have nothing whatsoever to do with it(them).

All that will happen if one does this search...

dogs "things with tails" that the first few results will, indeed, contain both "dogs" and "things with tails," but very early in the results -- likely on the very first page -- pages which contain only one or the other will be listed.  If, however, the query were...

+dogs +"things with tails"

...then the search will "insist" that BOTH "dogs" and the phrase "things with tails" be on the pages listed in the results; and that will not break down to where either or appears until well into the search results.

The plus symbol is needed, then, to keep Google from just shrugging-off the fact that both search terms are there, and starting, early, to show pages with either, but not both.  The plus symbol ensures that BOTH are shown for as many results as possible.  The plus symbol makes (or at least made sure, until this rookie move on Google's part) that Google took deadly seriously the fact that BOTH terms are present in the query, and didn't just start showing either/or whenever it wished.

NONE of that has anything to do with what the double-quotes do.

What in the nameofgod is Google thinkng?!?!?!?

Please restore the function of the plus (and minus, if that got trashed, too) symbols immeediately.

Sheesh... Google sure seems hell bent on driving its loyal users over to Bing, doesn't it.

Gregg L. DesElms
Napa, California USA
gregg at greggdeselms dot com

Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Chevanc 10/26/11 9:09 PM
Actually, Gregg, I just tried your example. I searched [dogs "things with tails"] and it took until page 6 to find a result that didn't have "things with tails".
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? UKTW 10/27/11 1:41 AM
>>>  I searched [dogs "things with tails"]
And that's easy to explain to a not-very-compter-literate person is it? To be honest, I reckon that the majority of Google users are not experienced computer people able to craft ideal expression searches .. for them, it has always been so easy to simply say "add a '+' for things you must have and a '-' for things you don't want to see" ... they grasp the concept really easily and, more importantly, its highly memorable so I get less calls of the "how do I do that again?" kind
Now, I'm going to end up trying to explian the new system .... which as the discussion above proves is pretty difficult even to a bunch of people who really care how it works!
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? WWWNooB 10/27/11 3:50 AM
Just when I was begining to like the new search results . . . :-(
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Apinamies 10/27/11 4:33 AM
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? WWWNooB 10/27/11 5:20 AM
You need todo that in google+ !!
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? UKTW 10/27/11 5:26 AM
@WWWNooB ... ;-) ... how apt
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? WWWNooB 10/27/11 6:33 AM
:-D  :-p
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? aaronlawrence 10/27/11 6:11 PM
So it seems that Google only return pages which return all your search terms. So + did not turn it into an AND, as that was the default
Google doc says it is:

However, putting a + WAS a synonym for "quotes", and thus greatly reduced the number of matches, which superficially was the result you would expect from an AND operator. 

I'm pretty sure that Altavista at least had a + for AND. Maybe Google carried that on for a while, and then stopped.

Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? hucko 10/27/11 6:32 PM
When I was being forced to use Bing, the only thing that I'd search would be Google. Now I'll be treating Google to the same treatment. *Sigh* I actually Liked you guys. Now I have to move all my data out of google and over to... [flips a coin between Yahoo & Bing] Wolfram it is! :shifty:
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? GregSpy 10/27/11 10:14 PM
It seems arrogant and ridiculous to allow Google "Plus" "branding" to take over 20 years of practically-standard methods for strict-including or disallowing search terms and keywords. This wouldn't be happening if google were a small company and did not have excess $$$ and excessive numbers of PhDs sitting around with nothing to do. Just because google wants to "brand" "Google+" with a cute little plus sign everywhere we all have to toss out decades of practically standard search usage. If google were in charge of auto manufacturing they would declare all steering wheels have to be on the right-hand side now, for no reason other than "branding."

What is the corollary for minus "-" now the single quote or curly braces? Just absolutely arrogant. I have things to work on. Now I have to take an hour or two and search all around about this online and criticize it with justifiable logic as much as humanly possible. For example, the plus key on the 10-key area of most keyboards was fast  to quickly reach over and hit when typing search terms. Now it's shift quote shift quote shift quote shift quote just ridiculous.

"I hope that you'll continue to change things for no reason in the future so that we, the users, can look elsewhere to make our experience online more enjoyable."

"We, the users, put a lot of thought into practically-standard usage that's been around for 20 years, and we're always interested in LOOKING ELSEWHERE."

Google thinks that the few people stating justified criticism in threads like this are just a sprinkling of users and do not matter. However, google is offending the most experienced I.T. professionals out there with it's continued UI breaking-of-familiarity attitude, experienced professionals that have the ability to either recommend OR DENY google products to thousands of users. This is the last straw. I for one will be criticizing google EVERYWHERE at all times from now on. An excess of $$$ causes ultra-arrogance and the inability to listen.

Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? bluequoll 10/28/11 4:07 AM
The basic reason for withdrawing the "+" operator seems to be related to searches for [ google<space>+ ] and [ +<space>1 ]. Google search up to now has been able to cope quite successfully with searches for [ c++ ] without having to eliminate the "+" operator, because literate users searching for c++ know that there are no spaces in the search term. Now that ordinary users have started searching for [ google<space>+ ] instead of the correct term [ google+ ], and [ +<space>1 ] instead of the correct term [ +1 ], because they are unaware of the correct terminology, Google have to allow for searches which include the special character "+" as a separate search term, so have to withdraw its use as an useful operator.

To fly in the face of accepted practice to accommodate users who don't know the correct name of the items they are searching for is stupid beyond belief! Surely the search algorithm can be tweaked to recognize the combination of google<space>+ being equivalent to google+.

Google are fast alienating themselves from serious searchers. I have previously used the "+" operator in front of certain terms in a search to signify that search results "must contain this term". Double quotes around single words doesn't seem to achieve this, so how do I now force results which only include certain search terms (i.e. the opposite of the "-" operator)?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? patruns 10/28/11 10:03 AM
And what happened to the advanced search option at the top of the page? Or the "cached" option at the end of most results? Why is Google screwing around with this so much after all these years?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? jehobu 10/28/11 1:15 PM
Taking away the plus operator is a terrible move.  The double quotes replacement doesn't work.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Katnpp 10/28/11 2:40 PM
Please bring the + back! 
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? jessharpur 10/29/11 2:32 AM
No response from either Kelly, who has been asked specific questions, or any other Google employee, since Oct 26. Does this mean that Google considers the matter closed? It's beginning to look like a case of "just ignore them and with a bit of luck they'll go away" which, if it is that way, is a very sad day for Google.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Richard Hearne 10/29/11 6:16 AM
[honeycomb ereader "mobi"] != [honeycomb ereader +mobi]

I can no longer find desired content.  That's a large fail by any measurement.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Entro 10/29/11 8:29 AM
This improvement is especialy hurtful for languages which have declensions, like russian. Query [Google +зло] will return phrases like "Google перешел на строну зла", where [Google "зло"] won't, because is searches for exact term. Glad we stil have Yandex - one of the few search engines, who didn't surrender to Google monopoly and who still supports + operator. By alienating power users with such improvements Google will only help Yandex to improve it market share.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? tsteele93 10/30/11 2:30 PM
Hey everyone, ease up on Kelly a little. I think this is probably a bad day for Kelly. ;-)
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? aklesh3 10/30/11 3:15 PM
It's things like this that make me use Bing. You've made it "better" by double the amount of keystrokes?  Put it back the way it was before you drive more people away.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Kali-Strategist 10/30/11 3:27 PM
This is a SERIOUS step backwards for google.  I use this literally every day, in complex search queries.  It worked, don't break it.

Especially if you are trying to talk folks into Google+.  Pissing them off isn't going to make them accept what you are pushing.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Knocks 10/30/11 3:29 PM
This has got to be one of the biggest facepalms in the history of Google's products.  Worse than Buzz.  Worse than omitting the Delete button from Gmail.

The tragedy of this change is that only power users will understand the loss.

I do hope someone at Google will convince the higher-ups to come back to their senses and figure out a way to promote Google Plus without compromising the functionality of their central product.  There must be people among Google employees who understand how much this sucks, right?
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? CommunityString 10/30/11 3:32 PM
Why on earth make it more difficult to use a great power feature, this makes no sense.
Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Rourke 10/30/11 4:00 PM

Since google search tends to completely leave out certain words in about 20% of my searches, I was sometimes forced to add a + sign. It resulted in having completely different and much better results. This is a major set back for me since I do a lot of google searches on a normal day. PLEASE turn this back the way it was. I really annoys me.

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? K. Little 10/30/11 5:27 PM
    Please change it back.  That is all, Thanks!
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? FullMeow 10/30/11 5:28 PM
    Sometimes I want to search for a specific phrase.  That's what quotes are for.  Sometimes I want that phrase to be required (using the plus operator) and other times I don't.  But I need to be able to explicitly declare what is required in the search and what isn't.
        plane flying car show
        +plane +flying car +show
        +plane "flying car" +show

    "Flying car" might not be in all the pages that have plane and car shows.  So I can't make it required.  But if it's there, I certainly want it to be ranked high in the results.

    -We need an operator to define what's required.
    -We need an operator to group words into phrases.
    -We need the operators to be different.  Because they're not the same thing.

    I use your search engine because it lets me quickly narrow down results to find relevant data about rare things for which I don't know the correct terms.  I use a lot of circumlocution to describe the things I'm looking for, and you replacing my expert set of precise tools with a sledgehammer covered in glitter is pretty offensive.  
    Why don't you find the incapable manager that thought it would be a good idea to glue mittens on everything and tell him that he screwed up.  What did he do wrong?  

    -Google+ is populated with power users.
    -Android was promoted by power users.
    -Ads are bought by the technical users, who are often also power users.
    -Power users switched to google for searches early on.
    We are your best sales team.  Don't think that making our job harder will increase your market share.  Fix it, or we'll find a search engine that actually works and herd the masses towards it.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? grep--o 10/30/11 5:30 PM
    Google -- look at how many people voted down your answer. People don't like the change.

    How do I search for something that is mare than a single word, like:
    green +"used cars"
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? grep--o 10/30/11 5:31 PM
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? jeroth87 10/30/11 6:08 PM
    Really? Please change it back to the way it was. This is really not logical at all.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? magpac 10/30/11 6:13 PM
    Is there any way to get Kelly's response removed as a 'best answer'? It isn't 'best' in any sense of the word, I'm thinking of just clicking 'report abuse' on that response.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Waraugh 10/30/11 6:24 PM
    This is crap.  What kind of legitimate query base removes an operator like this?
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Xparisky 10/30/11 6:42 PM
    Can we please get a separate power user interface please? with FULL boolean functionality?
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? ttanner 10/30/11 9:11 PM
    I am also hoping for a real response, not just a copy and paste response that fails to address the problem.

    We're major Google users at our company, as well as hold a Google Apps for Business account. Google loves to implement stuff without any real-world testing and throw it on the users - for better or for worse. It is their standard operating procedure. Develop, release, then test.

    Generally Google just keeps dropping the ball.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? tim.a.elliott 10/30/11 9:49 PM
    Please bring back the standard + operator.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? jessharpur 10/30/11 10:37 PM
    If you click on My Discussions at top left, you will probably see something similar to this in the list which appears
    Google obviously isn't taking any notice of the comments in this thread - there has been no response since Oct 26. Perhaps we should each post our comments as a new question, rather than add to this one?

    ps. If the 'copy and paste' from the list didn't work (above), it says:

    Boolean + operator removed? Why? in Web Search

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? jessharpur 10/31/11 1:23 AM
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? ClifDavis 10/31/11 3:52 AM
    I had hoped that Kelly or someone else at Google would come back and answer some of the very good and pertinent questions raised here.  It doesn't look like that's going to happen, so I will take a shot at it.  Though I will warn you in advance that this is a longish answer.  I should probably warn you as well that you may not like the answer.

    There are two popular beliefs about a Google search.  One is that there is that there is an implicit AND operation between the various search terms.  The other is that entering a search term means that you would like it present in the results and preceding it with a + means that it must occur in the result.  Neither belief is strictly true, although it is easy to see why people would believe them, particularly if you look at some of the explanations Google has given.

    Let's start with looking at the implicit AND operation.  We can use that as our mental model and get useful and meaningful results , but we can also use an IMMEDIATELY-FOLLOWED-BY as our assumed operation and get meaningful results.  For example if we make the search [won the * in 2009 OR 2010] (* is a search term that will match anything) then we start getting results of people that won things in either 2009 or 2010.   And many of them have actual phrases like "Bob won the race in 2009."  Or if we are less lucky, "In 2008 Bob won the race. In 2009 he was not as fast."  Now if we go far enough down the list we may find a document where somebody "came in first" and 20 paragraphs later something completely different happened in 2010.  And further yet down our list we may find mention of someone living at 2009 Main Street and no recognizable account of anyone winning anything.  The point is that our search can be treated as the word "won" IMMEDIATELY-FOLLOWED-BY the word "the" IMMEDIATELY-FOLLOWED-BY other stuff IMMEDIATELY-FOLLOWED-BY the word "in" IMMEDIATELY-FOLLOWED-BY either "2009" or "2010."  The results will make sense up to a certain point in our search results and then they get a bit flaky.  

    Switching back to our AND model we toss out the * and the common words "the" and "in" and we interpret [won the * in 2009 OR 2010] as a search for a document that contains the word "won" AND one of the words "2009" or "2010."  Again we are happy with our results - much longer in fact - but past a certain point again our results would seem to start getting flaky and by the end they may just look weird.  

    Looking at the Google search in general we may consider it a search for an exact match of a template, or failing that a search for matches of terms in a certain order in close proximity, or failing that a search for matches of search terms in a rough order with many in close proximity to their neighboring matches, or failing that continued relaxation of the search, right up an AND-ing that requires all the search terms to have a match somewhere in the document, or failing that a significant number of the search terms finding a match somewhere in the document (where the exact definition of "significant number" is part of the magic of Google).   The point is that the ordering of the search results allows us to usefully adopt different models of what the search is doing as long as we are willing to throw away the tail of the results. And when we are using a certain model we will see the results of more restrictive models earlier in our results, but that's okay.  It still makes sense for our model of what the search is doing.

    The result is that the Google search effectively performs a hierarchy of search operations which is reflected in the ordering of its results.

    This same ordering of results can be seen with individual search terms.  If we do the search [sad] we will find that there are a huge number of web pages that use the word "sad."  Further down in our search results we will find pages that don't contain the word sad, but may have synonyms for sad and may, for example, include text about someone who "feels blue."  Further yet we will find results where for one reason or another Google makes one or more associations of some kind between "sad" and the contents of web page, for example the page may contain an image which Google associates in it's database with the tag "Blue Boy."   The process isn't perfect, but generally speaking the sensible synonyms and associations tend to occur much earlier in the results than the far-fetched associations and past a magic point selected by Google they don't appear at all.

    Treating [sad] as a search for the word "sad" is sensible as long as we are willing to throw away to the tail.  But when we have multiple search terms we are trying to search for, each of which we would like to match, the union of the requirements of matching the search terms is harder and so the associations, sensible or not, tend to play a more important role.  It is easy then to see why [sad fred anchovey race kitten] might have results where it seems that the search terms are more in the nature of suggestions rather than requirements.  But in fact, Google search is really trying to satisfy each term the best it can, it's just that the tails of the individual search terms get shoved towards the top of the results list by the pressure of trying to fulfill the Google search's hierarchy of search operations.  

    And to this we add the + operator.  Contrary to belief, the + operator does not act as the opposite of the - operator. The - operator tosses out results which contain the search term that follows it. The + operator does not throw out results that do not contain the search term.  Instead it turns off the synonymns and associations so that the search term can be satisfied only by an actual occurrence of the word in the document. 

    It is easy to see how these two interpretations of the + can be confused.  In fact if the implicit-AND model were true then the two WOULD be the same; but it isn't so they're not.  But the interpretation of + as meaning that what follows must occur in the web page, while wrong, can be a useful one, as long as you are willing to throw out the tail of the results.

    Now we come to quoted phrases.  Quoted phrases are an ad-hoc assembly of words.  Quoted phrases have no stored stored synonyms and associations.  There is nothing for the + operator to turn off. Put another way, quoted phrases are born with an implicit + in front of them.  There is no difference between the search  [Apollo + "moon rock"] and [Apollo "moon rock"] and there never has been.

    Well, okay, I can't claim of my own knowledge that there never has been, but certainly there hasn't been in years. Similarly the OR operator is not effected by +.  Google search recognizes the use of OR as presenting explicit alternatives rather than OR-ing all the synonyms associations.  Essentually there is an impicit plus on the arguments of the OR.  So putting an explicit plus inside or in front of an OR operation is completely wasted.

    The + operation doesn't work the way you thought it did.  It has only affected individual unquoted words.  For reasons best known only to themselves Google has eliminated the + operator, but has given the same function to quoting single words.

    This is a pain in the ass.  It is NOT a disaster of biblical proportions.  Make the same searches you always would have except replace a + of a single word by quoting it and otherwise imagine the +s are still there.  You'll get the same results as always.


    As always the results will make sense except in the tail where they get hinky.

    It would have been nice if somebody from Google had explained this.  If you go back now and look at Kelly's comments, they make a little bit of sense, even though they aren't very good answers and kind of suck at adressing people's concerns.  Hopefully I did a little bit better.

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? UKTW 10/31/11 4:22 AM
    and if it takes all that to explain it to this audience, who one must assume (as they're on these fora) have a degree of interest and a readiness to read, learn and inwardly digest, how do you think it gets explained to users? ;-)
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? WWWNooB 10/31/11 4:43 AM
    You made this statement:  "The + operator does not throw out results that do not contain the search term.  Instead it turns off the synonymns . . ."
    You are completely mistaken here.  The + operator, while it was still operating, performed BOTH functions you mentioned because the action taken by the search engine was to:
    Force the inclusion of this exact term in the results.
    This would also reduce the amount of listings in the serps by eliminating all synonyms and displaying only results that included the term that was +'ed.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? masinger 10/31/11 4:46 AM
    Cliff, even with all that, this change still means 1) altering years-long habit, and 2) typing twice as many characters for no good reason. It is neither easier nor more efficient to type quotation marks around a single word than it is to type a plus in front of that word. If this change happened because Google, not satisfied with trying to be Yahoo!, now wants to be Twitter as well and didn't think through what that would do to established practices, then they deserve all the hell that can be given.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Chevanc 10/31/11 7:56 AM
    Cliff, I don't think you're correct about the history and operation of the (+) operator. If you look back at Google's help page for 1999, it used to be the case that the (+) operator would force Google to not throw away commonly used words like "the" or "of".

    Google USED to be a default AND search, so the (+) operator was largely useless except in special cases, but the new behavior they introduced in 2009 of silently removing search terms gave the (+) operator more importance, as it would force Google back into a pure AND search.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? jjf510 10/31/11 9:05 AM
    <Sigh> This is a step into confusion. I wish Google would just say, "it's because the + sign is now the property of Google+". I'd appreciate that honesty. The idea that this is somehow simpler or more consistent is laughable.

    + is intuitive. For me, putting something in quotes merely indicates that the contents in the quotes should be matched as an exact string, not that the contents are required in a Boolean AND sense. Is AND implied unless you indicate otherwise?

    So, for single word search terms, does putting them in quotes do anything different than just typing them in does?

    For example, is a search for [ Google Android Phone ] the same as [ "Google" "Android" "Phone" ] ?

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? ClifDavis 10/31/11 9:41 AM
    @Masinger - I agree.  It's a pain in the ass.  It's not at all clear what this buys them.  Their "explanation" comes under the heading of fixing stuff that isn't broke.

    @WWWNooB - Yes, I agree that Google has said this and on more than one occasion.  They were lying to you -  in order to be useful.  It was even true inside the large part of search results that were an AND search, but once you got into the tail of the results where it was a MOSTLY search, it was a useful lie.   If you looked at the tail of a search with a number of search terms you could see results where +ed terms did not appear. Not always, but by my observation this has been true for some time.  I imagine that Google got very little flack for extra results down where people seldom looked and I expect that sometimes those extra results proved to be useful.  

    "But" "if" "you" "quote" "each" "word" "in" your" "search" you will find that it reduces the amount of listings and MOSTLY displays only results containing any term quoted. 

    @Chevanc -  Well 1999 is outside my window, but I think if you do a search like [March "of" "the" animals] you will find Google is no longer as prone to throwing the commonly used words away.  Test it and see.  Then try quoting each word in your search and see how much it resembles a pure AND search. (The answer is mostly, but not completely in the tail, just has been the case with + each word in the search for some time.)

    @All - What I am saying is not based on any insider knowledge, only my theory based on observation of Google search results over a period of years.  You are not required to believe me or pay me any attention.  It would have been far better to have someone at Google actually make this explanation so that there could be a greater level of confidence.  But that doesn't keep it from being true.    
    So gripe away to Google, I hope it does some good, but don't panic.  Based on my observation, Google search is as powerful and working as well as it ever did, it's just a little bit more of a pain to use well.

    Test it for yourself.

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? ClifDavis 10/31/11 10:13 AM

    @jif510 -   a search for [ Google Android Phone ], a search for [ "Google" "Android" "Phone" ] and a search for ["Google Android Phone"] are all different.  The last one searches for that exact phrase.  The middle one is mostly like an AND search for the exact three terms but may include some extra results on the end that only have two of the terms or (less likely) one of the terms.  The first one gives early results like it was the third search but rapidly includes other stuff and by the end is including complete garbage.  But there is a very good chance that the information you are really looking for occurs early in the search, even if you have a lousy memory and typed [Google Robot Phone] instead.  Or at the very least provide you with enough information you can make a better search.

    The change is that ["Google" "Android" "Phone"] replaces [+Google +Android +Phone].  Why?  Google's explanation makes no sense.  But except for ease of use, nothing seems to be lost.

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? harddkyss 10/31/11 12:06 PM
    Hey everyone, either my PC is playing a VERY evil game with me or Google brought back the "+" !!!
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? jessharpur 10/31/11 3:57 PM
    @harddkyss Mine's "playing up" in just the same way :) Hurrah!
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Colt45ws 10/31/11 4:19 PM
    It does appear to be working again.
    It does not say anything about it being removed when I used it and it did change the number of results.

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Rourke 10/31/11 5:39 PM
    Seems to be working again. Nice :)
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? masinger 10/31/11 5:47 PM
    No, it's not:

    [+is +this +working]

    Showing results for is this working
    The + operator has been replaced.
    To search for an exact word or phrase, use double quotation marks: "is" "this" "working"

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? WWWNooB 10/31/11 7:04 PM
    >>>They were lying to you -  in order to be useful.
    The truth is that I've used this operator often when reviewing websites and until the recent change, it worked perfectly for me all the way down to the last result.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Dan Johnson 10/31/11 9:49 PM
    Quite obviously, the plus operator is no longer available for our use, and (contrary to what Google has told us thus far) the quotes do not provide the functionality we have become accustomed to. That functionality is now gone.

    Placing quotes around a word or phrase has (up until this change) been used to indicate that a particular search term was to be spelled as given, or to indicate a single search term contained spaces or (sometimes) other special characters.

    The plus sign was used to specify that any particular search term (whether in quotes or not) must be present in any page returned as a result.

    If the plus operator was still available, I would have used this text to search tonight:

    [+"google earth" +"google latitude" +kml +tour +follow]

    I used the following text, as Kelly indicated we should:

    ["google earth" "google latitude" "kml" "tour" "follow"]

    The first result did not contain the phrase "google latitude" (as would have been required with the plus operator). That result, and nearly all that followed, were completely irrelevant to the information I was searching for.

    Google has now become almost completely useless for me as a search engine.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? harddkyss 11/1/11 2:08 AM
    Sorry guy's it WAS working for a little while, now it's back to "blah,blah,has been replaced", bummer.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? steveecrane 11/1/11 2:20 AM

    Anybody else finding:

    i)  This change is impractical and a right pain in the @$$ - let's dumb down our search service to keep the less capable individuals happy.  How difficult is "+" being the opposite of "-", with double quotes being for phrases?  There's more to this than meets the eye.

    AND (more importantly, if you read between the lines):

    ii)  When trying to respond to an answers as "...not helpful...", a "No" click elicits this response:

    "Could not set rating. Please try again."

    again and again and again.  Hmmm!  Wonder why!
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? harddkyss 11/1/11 2:26 AM
    Guess this was Google's version of "Trick or Treat", I found it by accident as I'm always using them then I noticed I actually found what I was searching for!! it can't be! then noticed my word(s) were included in every result and it no longer showed the replaced mesage,  but now it seems as though Halloween is over and Google has gone back to " ". so my apologies if I got anyone excited.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? aashay147 11/2/11 6:11 AM
    What a joke! Instead of educating people on how to make proper searches, Google decides to alienate serious searchers and hide behind the excuse of "simplifying searches".

    Also, I dunno if this change is because of Google+. Google searches are able to give search suggestions/corrections as in "Showing results for 'random number'. Show results for 'radnom numbner' instead". So if the '+ 1' or 'Google +' were causing an issue then they must have a really weak programming team these days.

    Maybe Google removed it because they are going to add some idiotic new feature like inputting "Bah, humbug + 1" adds the comment "Bah, Humbug" to your Google+ profile.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Bouvrie 11/2/11 6:58 AM
    Is it me or does everyone forget that + is NOT EQUIVALENT to the quote character in terms of semantics?

    Originally, searching for ["holiday in miami" +sun] would search for pages that _required_ the word [sun] to be in the results, with [holiday in miami] being preferred if it's in the text litterally, yet not as mandatory as [sun].

    Now, searching for ["holiday in miami" "sun"] doesn't differentiate between the weight of each keyword.

    Similarly, how does one now enter ["trip to Boston" +"all expense paid"] ? Removing the + from that 'old' query does not constitute an equivalent query in the new system.

    Perhaps this is yet another example of how 'innovation' in the tech sector is measured in terms of 'ease of use' as opposed to 'effectiveness of use'. See Windows 7 vs Windows XP (which tends to hide information like folder's content  sizes in Windows Explorer and obfuscates anything to do with the original hierarchical filesystem in favor of abstract 'libraries') as another example.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? plumegravated 11/2/11 8:45 AM
    @aashay147 it's not a matter of programming, it's a matter of branding. They want to be twitter and facebook so you can +1 something instead of liking it and  you can +aashay147 instead of @aashay147. So they need to brand that + sign to become synonymous with Google+ and not some operator in their websearch. Because clearly users are too stupid to cope with such complexities. And of course instead of being honest about it they say that actually putting quotation marks around words is easier than putting plus signs in front of them. Yup. Typing "Google" "has" "become" "evil" is much easier than +Google +has +become +evil. Just try it.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? stevejaffe 11/2/11 9:14 AM
    Isn't it a curious coincidence that google have also removed the "advanced search" link under the search box (and moved it way to the bottom of the page, as I discovered only after much searching of the un-advanced kind.)

    Apparently google are no longer interested in catering to users with sophisticated queries. Clearly they feel it makes better business sense to devote their resources to catering to the mass market.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? UKTW 11/2/11 9:23 AM
    Where did you find "advanced search", I'm still looking?
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? botogol 11/2/11 9:55 AM

    I believe the reason for this change is that in future google would like

    [+botogol]   to  find  my  google+   page

    in the same way that

    [@botogol]  finds me on twitter
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? aashay147 11/2/11 12:01 PM
    @plumegravated - excellent observation about +plumegravated vs @plumegravated - i missed that. Google is getting its fingers in too many pies...
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Entro 11/2/11 12:33 PM
    They could replace "+" with "++" or "=" or somthing as simple. But why bother, when you can just simply ignore power users needs?
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Art Vigley 11/2/11 12:38 PM
    This is ridiculous.

    I noticed my searches were showing rubbish results for the last few weeks. Google replacing my words for me. Rubbish results for page after page. Now Google has taken away the + operator. Using "xyz" instead of +xyz is different. It still returns a heap of useless results.

    On top of the recent changes, Google search is now rubbish. It used to be Google was so great because it found what you wanted on the first page - usually the first few results.

    Now you're lucky to find what you want on the first 10 pages.

    If Google doesn't get its act together, I'll have no problem typing NEWSEARCH.PAGE instead of Your brand was based on results. Without results, you've got nothing, and I'll go to the best service. That's not Google any more.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Art Vigley 11/2/11 1:29 PM
    If you thought Clippit was bad, at least he didn't strip out your words and replace it with his own "helpful" reconstruction, and then deny you editing tools.

    Google's downful has surely begun.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? enigmatic_user 11/2/11 11:00 PM
    @stevejaffe: Just click on the gearwheel icon in the upper right corner, there you'll find a link to the advanced search, too.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? javi g 11/3/11 3:08 AM

    what about existing GOOGLE ALERTS

    do I have to change all of them that had "+" operator?

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? UKTW 11/3/11 4:51 AM
    I did type in NEWSEARCH.PAGE and google gave me Bing then Wolfram followed by duckduckgo (a bing front end) and then an article about googles new search
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Chevanc 11/3/11 5:44 AM
    UKTW, it's not accurate to say that DuckDuckGo is a frontend for Bing. It uses results from many different sources, including its own search capabilities:
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? UKTW 11/3/11 8:18 AM
    @Chevanc .. I stand corrected, I was only going by their comment at the bottom of the SERP

    results by Bing 
    built with  Yahoo
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? MicahDail 11/3/11 8:55 AM
    I have begrudgingly been using Bing lately.
    If you are going to remove this operator because it just so happens to be a symbol that you would like for other purposes [Google+], then please replace the symbol so that searches can still be executed in the same manner.
    Surely you know that +dog <> "dog".
    Please don't force me to fully commit to Bing.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? banunu 11/3/11 1:35 PM
    The first result of a search for both "autonomous nervous system" and ["autonomous" nervous system] is the Wikipedia page for the autonomic nervous system (, a web page that does NOT include that phrase. How do I force the results to actually contain the phrase I'm searching for?
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? The_Mad_Literalist 11/3/11 3:07 PM
    OK, now it looks like the '+' operator is doing the exact opposite of what it should Compare spoofing attachment virus +"cell" +"adsorption" with spoofing attachment virus "cell" "adsorption" The first one appears to weight the terms cell and adsorption less heavily than the second.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? edward2020 11/3/11 3:20 PM
    FYI (like you even care) I've changed my homepage from google for the first time in over a decade. I'm also in the process of moving to other services for any other google product I use, either at home or at work. Not only was google's removal of the + operator obviously a decision made by individuals who don't understand google search (despite Kelly's protestations to the contrary), but the silence from google on the issue makes me reconsider my investment of time on your increasingly crappy products. Crappy, not because the external environment changed, but because you intentionally decreased the effectiveness of your search product. Additionally, I'll not be recommending to anyone that they purchase your google search appliance (for the enterprise) or that they use google search (at home or work) until this issue is resolved in a fashion that is not ignorant. Why should I teach someone to use an inferior product (the size of your index is not the judge of your search's quality, quality comes from allowing people to find what they want)? Additionally, to your fanbois who don't know the difference between + and "", go troll some apple boards.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Dan Johnson 11/4/11 9:50 AM
    It's obvious that Google no longer seems to care about their search engine as a useful product. They remove the ability to accurately search for terms using a boolean operator, yet they spend time and money on completely useless and trivial things like the effect of searching for [do a barrel roll].

    I'm disappointed, disgusted, and fed up.

    Goodbye, Google search, until a time comes when you can own up to your mistakes and put things right. For now, I'm going to get acquainted with bing and duckduckgo.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? jessharpur 11/4/11 4:02 PM
    It's duckduckgo for me. Already installed as default search engine in Chrome. Still my favourite browser, evidence that I haven't turned rabidly anti-google, but their search engine no longer meets my requirements. I don't do 'brand loyalty', I choose what I use of the basis of how well it meets my needs. Sadly, Google search is no longer in the running.

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Richard Hearne 11/5/11 5:30 AM
    Another fine example:

    [loading +tripadvisor badge async]

    No way to find that anymore...  Terrible decision to remove this operator :(
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Anthony Stuart 11/5/11 7:50 AM
    I think a simple solution to this problem would be for Google to make search more configurable, both in the way the terms are interpreted and the way the results are displayed.

    The configuration could be stored in cookies and/or associated with a Google account. I don't think this would have an impact on privacy, because it only changes how you want search terms and results handled.

    I think this could address all of the complaints I've seen recently, including the handling of the plus sign, the hiding of the cached link under the double arrow drop down, and the recent elimination of the implied AND for multiple such terms.

    It could also be used to selectively enable new features, like the recently announced timeliness feature, or the relative significance of social network (e.g. twitter) trending in result ordering.

    If you think about it, does it really make sense to have a single search interface that tries to satisfy the needs of all users?
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Krnntp 11/5/11 7:36 PM
    I've had the same experience as Art Vigley - couldn't figure out why my Google searches were suddenly returning garbage. I mean garbage garbage. And I know what I'.m doing as far as queries go - have been using Google since 1998.

    It looks as though the killing of the + operator, the alteration of the meaning of the " operator, and the switch to default "OR" are to blame for what I've seen. Like paultr and others, I am finding that the first ranked result (and often the first page, or first several pages of results) often does not contain one or more essential search terms without which the query is meaningless.

    Have always abhorred Bing, but at the suggestion of some folks further back on this thread, I just gave it a whirl. Unbelievably, I was suddenly able to specify phrases and exclusions properly. Bing gave me the sort of high caliber, specific, useful results I used to get from Google.

    Please bring back your older, specific search query processing. God, I miss it. I am practically tearing up here. I literally cannot get useful results for some of the queries I have tried over the last few days. Have tried all manner of rephrasing and restructuring - no joy. My results continue to be "fuzzy" and include / exclude important terms at random.

    If you feel it is important to allow users to "fuzzy search", maybe you could add a button or something for anyone who wants to wade through extraneous search results or who actually does not know what exactly they're looking for?

    Please please please... please. I'm not exaggerating the degree of sudden uselessness I have experienced.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? banunu 11/6/11 8:41 AM
    Yep, Bing knows how to do "autonomous nervous system" (albeit with a plus sign in front of the phrase). Maybe time for a switch?
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? MortenSG 11/6/11 10:29 AM
    I have gotten the impression that some of the posters to this forum are Bing employees trying to swing searchers over to their company. Many of the examples provided were overtly flawed by including items not in quotes. Since the quotes mean "must include", there is technically no difference between that and the old + sign. Perhaps Google still has some tweaking to do, but the end result should be no loss of functionality, at least not for English-language queries. Someone mentioned a problem with Russian declensions. Likely, Google will find a way to resolve that problem for declension languages in regards to quotes just as it did in regards to the + sign, and in the meantime those users can try using the OR operator, e.g. "abcx" OR "abcz".

    The quotes do require an extra keystroke, so Google loses points on ease of use. In my case, they require two extra keystrokes since I use the international keyboard where you have to hit the space bar to put in the last quote. But I have been instinctively doing my searches that way for years, with quotes rather than + sign, and have had great success in finding even the most obscure information.

    I happen to know as fact that Google expends a vast amount of time, effort, and money in trying to determine user intent on queries and then providing the best possible search results. Google has indexed the entire Internet including millions of books, and Google has it all already for instant pull-up. People here should stop joking about moving over to Bing. You can find information on Google that you have no hope of ever finding on Bing.

    The move to eliminate the + operator may indeed have been motivated or partially motivated out of the desire to facilitate searches on Google+. This is my opinion: the worst possible future for the Internet that I can imagine would be an Internet dominated by Facebook.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Chevanc 11/6/11 12:11 PM
    MortenSG, if you're going to make accusations like that, at least have the courtesy to point people out by name so that they have a chance to defend themselves.

    " Since the quotes mean "must include", there is technically no difference between that and the old + sign."
    The issue people have is that the popular conception was that quotes do not mean "must include", they indicate that google should not search synonyms or related terms. If this is incorrect, a response from Google or more explicit wording on their help pages would go a long way to clearing up this issue.

    And I don't think that it's at all helpful to sweep people's concerns under a rug by saying "they'll probably fix that problem in the future", especially when the problem only exists because of Google's actions.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Auriam 11/7/11 2:27 AM
    There's no other way to say this - Google's apparently stopped listening to their geeks - their PhDs and computer scientists - and started listening to their marketing and PR departments.

    The removal of the + operator as a search query (to force inclusion of pages with the term in the results) is transparently a corporate move to use the "+" as some kind of social networking function *from the search box*. This is a classic example of mission creep - and to me signals Google's move from being a information technology firm (new ways of storing, searching, archiving information) to being a bloated corporate monolith like Microsoft, which tries to "me too" *everything*, and in the process dilutes its core businesses.

    Second, their immediate move to tell their employees like Kelly to lie - and give a silly lie at that ("making it easier to use", while pointedly not mentioning that it means they want to use + to search for Google+ profiles instead of, well, anything else) is evidence of their slide toward the Dark Side. A corporation may be started by individuals who don't want to be "Evil," but when they form an entity which has historically and legally been required only to care about maximizing its own profit, the individuals can't control it any longer - and it becomes Evil. Of course, they're beholden to their shareholders - but the shareholders are mostly just other corporations. It's human nature: no one cares about being evil as long as they're not "directly" responsible.

    We don't need another social networking site; Facebook and Twitter are fine. What we need is innovative ways to find information in a gigantic network - which was Google's core functionality - and we're not going to be able to rely on Google for that any longer. I don't think Bing is going to be the answer, either. Maybe the future of searching is inevitably going to be another startup out of nowhere, since this one has already aged to the point of becoming just another corporate giant, still desperately in denial and telling itself "but at least I'm not Evil!"
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    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? plumegravated 11/7/11 10:11 AM
    I think MortenSG is probably an undercover Google employee trying to undermine our free speech.
    I mean I have no proof or anything, but as long as we're throwing around baseless accusations...

    The way to stop Facebook from ruling the internet is not to be more evil than them.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Richard Hearne 11/7/11 12:50 PM

    Making this feature possible is why Google somewhat controversially removed how the + command worked last month. But a Google spokesperson told me:

    Even before Google+, we’d seen on one hand extremely limited usage of the plus operator, a fraction of a percent of all queries. And of that, the majoirty were using the plus operator incorrectly.

    After Google+ itself launched, Google said even more people started using the + operator, but in the wrong way. So dropping it probably did make sense — though Google shouldn’t have done it so quietly, and without a blog post explaining the move, I’d say.

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    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? bluequoll 11/7/11 2:49 PM
    This seems to answer the question "Why was the + operator removed?":

    Google+ Pages - connect with all the things you care about

    An answer is still needed to the question "How do we now achieve the same functionality - i.e. requiring a search term to be present in every result returned?". Double quotes doesn't seem to do it.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? UKTW 11/7/11 3:04 PM
    I love companies with consistent interfaces
    spot the italics ... "Tip: Use the plus sign to indicate OR. (tennis + squash)"
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    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? plumegravated 11/8/11 10:53 AM
    that's odd, I could have sworn Kelly said they removed the + operator  to make search easier and simpler. And now it turns out it's because of google+ pages. Wow, it's just like Facebook. Wonderful.
    Also noticed that they have removed the search bar at the bottom of the search page so you have to scroll up if you want to change your search terms. No doubt because of another wondeful new google feature, the instant preview thing.
    I can certainly understand why google would keep changing things, their old product really was awful and no one liked it. I'm so glad they're not ruining things.
    Now I shall go get my payceck from Bing.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? WWWNooB 11/8/11 1:37 PM
    @Thomas P.
    The first link is private.  The second link works.
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    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? UKTW 11/9/11 2:09 AM
    Loss of the + is an annoyance but what's really bugging me now is that I start typing in this lovely big box in the middle and, as I type, it slides gracefully to the top of the screen before my very eyes .. one thing I always admired and liked about the google interface was its plainness and simplicity - nothing got in the way of its one function ... bye bye to that too I fear
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? enigmatic_user 11/9/11 1:08 PM
    @UKTW: Just turn off Google Instant. How should that work without manipulating the page?
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Bilou 11/9/11 1:19 PM

    You've broken search functionality in a major way. Google has just  taken away one of the most powerful operators, and you are arguing that it is an improvement!

    If that is true, then Google doesn't even realize just how catastrophic this change is.

    I was a Google search advocate in the days when no one had ever heard of Google. i didn't even dream about changing that as long as i could narrow down my searches by a factor of 10, 100, or even 1,000 just using my brain to filter out the junk. Simple little things such as [+post] got me past junk sites into serious forums that I found i could trust to be accurate and helpful. These days we have to be somewhat smarter as the a**holes who build junk sites or hit farms gradually wake up to the ways we can walk around them. It's a battle they can' never win as long as we have the operators to do the job and the brains to understand what they are doing that breaks simple search and makes it all but useless.

    Google has spent a lot of cash trying to make simple searches more relevant, and so far failed.

    Another example-Microsoft's help has always been err...slightly less than useless,  but we used the + operator to get useful answers that worked. We passed those on via the boards and kept the users working well. Now it seems we cannot do that any longer. God help the users out there.

    There is perhaps a simple answer by rebranding Google+ to something more imaginative, or, the best answer i've seen so far is to leave the legacy search to old hands and pros. The existing "new improved" will still be OK for the average searcher. Put a tick box in prefs for "Use legacy operators (not recommended) and most folks would avoid it like the plague, but there'd be a few hundred thousand shakers and movers who'd breath one hell of a sigh of relief.

    How about it? it'd be a real shame if this became Googles "Vista" and forced you to redesign the whole thing form almost the ground up. That would cost a small fortune as Microsoft found out when they started down the long road to Windows 7.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Kremmen 11/13/11 10:51 PM
    Kelly's answer is rubbish. Using quotes around single words doesn't work. We still get lots of results returned which are not an exact match as requested.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Mike-Parker 11/15/11 4:38 AM
    Dear Google,
    I have noticed recently that the normal Google search functionality has changed. I kept getting the wrong search results. I eventually realised that it is the + (plus) operator that has ceased to function. I then found this thread. 
    Having read it, the astonishing thing is that Google don't realise what they have done. They say they have changed + for double quotes but they do not realise they do completley different things. Double quotes means - "only look for that word order". + means " the item must be presnt in the returned result".
    ["ford escort"  "current MOT"] is different to [+"ford escort" "current MOT"].
    The second means that you definitley want the "ford escort" to be there in that order but the current MOT is not so important, but if there must be in the order "current MOT".
    It is very surprising that Google seemes to not know its own product. It has broken the core of its search engine which, in turn, is the core of what it does.
    Where are the bright guys who started google? They would certainly understand this issue.
    Can any one from Google please tell me how I can now achieve unique string searches as before?
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Mark Simpson 11/15/11 7:37 AM
    Totally agree with the backlash train.  Why on earth has this happened?  It's severely reducing google's usefulness.  Moreover, it is making me think (a lot) when entering simple search terms.  I get a lot of mileage out of the +/- operators, so I find this very frustrating.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Kelly F 11/15/11 9:19 AM
    If you start your query with a +, you'll see predictions for related Google+ Pages. The quotes operator still works as explained a few weeks ago.

    For more info, see this blog post:
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? masinger 11/15/11 11:00 AM
    Eh, who cares. (Google certainly doesn't.) I'm now using different search engines, I'm searching for a different map provider, and I'll stop using Google Docs as soon as I am able. None of which matters.
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    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Dan Johnson 11/15/11 6:22 PM
    I remember Google "Plus Pages" from a long time ago, but they weren't called that.

    How did that go, again?

    Oh, yeah; "Enter AOL keyword blah, blah, blah."

    That was it.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Richard Hearne 11/16/11 12:13 AM
    >>  The quotes operator still works as explained a few weeks ago. 

    Which does not replicate the (former) + operator at all...

    Even this new Verbatim Search is a poor man's hack.
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    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? dpetra 11/17/11 6:27 PM
    Yeah, dumb it down, automate it, allow it to anticipate what we may want to search for, especially if it even remotely resembles a sponsor's product's name. Based upon the guesses that google thought I might be wanting, being so presumptious as to "think" my typing just was that much lacking, with results resembling something that Yahoo might term "trending". I miss the good old days when Web Crawler had a for-real boolean ability. Tonight I tried it after ten years, but alas, it encompassed Boogle and Yafoo results for some reason. Feel good for now. Work on your grammar, chick from Google, Kelly F., because nothing lasts forever.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? dpetra 11/17/11 6:29 PM
    Oh yeah, forgot to say, "Worst search engine, ever" (you know, say it like the comic book store from Simpsons)
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? dpetra 11/17/11 6:30 PM
    comic book store dude, that is.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? dpetra 11/17/11 6:31 PM
    Just wondering, Kelly F. Are you actually a person or just an automated response?
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? The_Mad_Literalist 11/17/11 7:56 PM
    Compare [miranda +"whois" ] and [miranda "whois"]. The plus operator is making the results MORE generic.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? HinkcleyScott 11/17/11 9:36 PM
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? aashay147 11/17/11 10:59 PM
    It's longer to type but you can get the results expected from the + operator by using 'intext:' and 'intitle:'   without qoutes

    Ex.  miranda intext:"whois"
           miranda (intext:whois OR intitle:"whois")

    AND and OR operators can be used for Boolean logic
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? syklist 11/17/11 11:57 PM
    The removal of the + operator explains a lot. I've been having problems getting relevent searches recently. As well as the + operator not working as I expected I have noticed a change when searching for whole words. 

    If I search for the Norwegian word [travelt] without quotation marks I now get a whole load of results for [travel] destinations. The two things are not related. If I search for mistymornings (without quotes) I get results for "misty mornings". Sigh.

    I just hopped over to Bing and, to be honest it is now looking like the better search engine. In the last couple of months I have noticed a ten fold increase in hits from Bing in AWStats on my own website. I guess the future is not Google's for the taking but for Google to lose.

    Given the changes to Google search and given that the current Hotmail UI is streets ahead of the Gmail New Look, it appears that Microsoft is now producing better web apps than Google.

    Did I just write that?
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? baxcanna 11/19/11 4:15 AM
    Kelly, your "I just tested out the quotes operator" answer is astonishingly ignorant (in case you didn't pick that up with the 99% unhelpful score you've received for it). It also appears like you are just testing these things for the first time. This raises another worrying issue that it appears that Google, a search engine company, is hiring people without a basic working knowledge of their core product to review and address community questions surrounding it.
    I am also under the distinct impression that you are the only person reviewing this topic and will neglect to pass it on to anyone higher up under the justified fear that it will show your unforgivable ignorance of the topic. In fact, I would be willing to bet a dollar that we never see anyone else from google on this thread for that reason.

    FOR SHAME, GOOGLE! (not that anyone important in google will see this)
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Elwood Anderson 11/25/11 2:55 PM
    You need to implement the quote option for limiting a search in the YouTube button search in Google+.  It doesn't work there.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Bilou 11/26/11 10:54 PM
    Hi Guys,

    It's going on for perhaps a month now (no, I am not going to pull up all of the threads and check that).

    But it seems clear, in spite of the bullshit, that Google have no intention whatsoever of reinstating the power of the +. + was an incisive operator that said "get this. if you can't find it then don't bother showing the page.

    For anyone with half a brain that was magic. Useful, beyond compare)  for specifying exact text string matches, as in +"this is what I want to see", or error numbers (for any kind of software error) - helped us find and fix things, part numbers (for stuff that we might need more info on, like a sound card, a video card, or an exact driver reference.

    I hate to even think about living post +operator, where in future "0XXXFDD002" finds 0XXXFDD003, 0XXXFDD004, 0XXXFDD005, or 0YYYFDD002 or 0YYYFDDDDDD002, they are pretty close, but a million miles form what we were looking for. For stuff like that you need a "needle in a haystack" operator, and that is what + did. There is no way to do that reliably any more.

    It could easily have been retained or changed to another symbol, say a tilda, if the "+" was really such an issue for marketing of Google+

    Google do have a dominant position in the search market, perhaps 90% or more. They know that. They know they can do anything they goddamn want and that anyone else will just have to STFU.

    Well, there are rational ways of trying to change that. Honestly, I really +"DO NOT"  want to get involved, but I can't see as there's another choice open to me.

    The quote marks don't do the job, much too fuzzy, and we need them for multi-word text searches anyway.

    What can we all do aginst Google's hyper-dominant market position.

    I for one will not openly knock Google, as, unfortunately, I need it, even in a crippled form.

    1. Observe to friends and clients that Android has become a little monster with compatibility issues. That there are two or three credible alternatives with Windows Phone, Iphone, and Blackberry.

    2. For rough and ready searching with no operators, Bing is pretty good. I don't think Bing has anywhere near the spidering capability of Google, but it is good at finding general stuff with crap removed without a need for even a mouse brain. For artists and jpeg jockeys, Bing's thumbnails are bigger, which makes it easier to guess if a page is worth bothering about. In Google, image thumbnails are so small that you can't see much without actually opening the link to the original picture/site.
    I have begun setting Bing as the standard search engine for non-specialist users. It does make sense.

    3. For privacy, Ixquick can't be beat, so for cases where that matters, such a divorce, debt, illness that might affect your insurance and so on, Ixquick is the way to go. I've started putting that on browsers that support custom buttons, and named it "Confidential Search'.

    Any other +"rational alternative" cases to Google that you other guys and gals can come up with would expand my horizons "out of the box".

    Don't hesitate to criticize, add to, or otherwise comment. We know what we want, and Google seemingly can't or won't give it to us, so we're going to have to get used to a new world where we pick and choose our search supplier, and we're going to have to help others as they make the same transition.

    The times they are a changing!

    All the best,

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? ds9boon 11/27/11 10:07 PM
    + Operand for Google Search.

    Still not hearing.  Still not listening.

    At least make the '+' operand an option for searches.

    You say 'we listen' and that Double Quots is an improvement.  THere is not direct comments on removing the '+' operand for searches.
    No one from google acknowledges this directly.

    imagine if ORACLE or DB2 said.  "Hey - '*'   is no longer used as a wild card for Search Strings.   Because we have a new brand called ORACLE*  (or DB2*).   

    Change it.   You have have more than enough requests and posts to replace the '+' operand, as per a standard search syntax.
    You still have '-' for not.

    Just make it a customer option.   (It's just like forcing people to look at BUZZ   - we all know you have BUZZ+ first).

    No answer has been helpful to date.  
    Comments to deflect and focus on 'alternatives' are not addressing the problem.

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? ds9boon 11/27/11 10:07 PM
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? mixalisaspr 11/28/11 3:17 AM
    In this article it is said: "In the past, we provided users with the “+” operator to help you search for specific terms. However, we found that users typed the “+” operator in less than half a percent of all searches, and two thirds of the time, it was used incorrectly. A couple of weeks ago we removed the “+” operator, encouraging the use of the double quotes, which are more likely to be used correctly."

    Even in this thread most users think that putting the plus operator (+) meant that google would return results that must include this term. But the correct use of this operator was to avoid synonyms of the word in search results. It is the exact behavior as "" when used for a single word.

    Neither I like that I have to press 4 keys instead of just one, but no functionality is gone. Double " tell google to search for the word as it is and not to suppose synonyms or words with the same stem.
    This message has been hidden because it was flagged for abuse.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Elwood Anderson 11/28/11 8:53 AM
    Google has an inconsistent policy regarding the + operator.
    In Google Search it substituted "" for +, but not with full equivalence.
    In Android + works like it used to in Google Search.
    On the YouTube button in Google+ neither + nor "" work.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Brad Laue 11/30/11 1:23 PM
    Hi Google,

    I recommend implementing the use of single quotes to denote that a search term must be present in every result. This would fully replace the functionality of the + operator. Also it has geek cred as it's used similarly in various UNIX shell environments.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? a37271 12/5/11 8:56 AM
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Elwood Anderson 12/5/11 10:06 AM
    Here's some further explanation of my earlier comment.
    In the general Google search, "" seems to be equivalent to what + used to be in that it pulls up only occurences that have the "" parameter in them. This is not the case when using the YouTube search. A "" search in YouTube brings up occurences that don't have the "" parameter in them, but are similar in some way. Even if you refuse to bring back the +, you should make "" work the same in all Google services.
    This problem is not receiving the attention it deserves from Google. You could at least acknowledge that you are working on the problem.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? rnelsonee 12/7/11 5:57 AM
    There is a great deal of consusion in this thread. Until yesterday I was one of you, but I realized I (we) are very wrong about the + operator!
    The + operator used to mean the word had to be in the result. From 2001 until 2009, by using The Wayback Machine, we see that the + operator meant the word was "essential" and had to be in the results. Also, Google's help page said this was for common words.
    So for a decade, all of use here used + to mean the word had to the in the result... but this changed in 2010, not 2011! In 2010 Google's help page now says "every word matters". That is you can no longer force words to be in the results! We can see that even in today's searches with the "" method.
    So Kelly is not lying, the + operator, which only means to match the exact phrasing/spelling, has been replaced by the double quotes. If you want to make sure a word is in the results... you can't do it, and haven't been able to for about two years now!
    This message has been hidden because it was flagged for abuse.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Stephen3333321 12/15/11 1:42 AM
    Just one comment on this issue. The page from the Internet Archive's cache of Google's help page on the "+" search term which Thomas P. cited comes from 2009. That particular page happens to mention that "Putting double quotes around a single word will do the same thing."

    That's as of 2009. Now's IA's Wayback Machine to time travel back a little further into Google's ancient past. Say, 2005. Back then the URL for the same help page was:

    Here is what says:

    >Google ignores common words and characters such as "where" and "how", as well as certain single digits and
    >single letters, because they tend to slow down your search without improving the results. Google will indicate if a
    >common word has been excluded by displaying details on the results page below the search box.

    >If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can include it by putting a "+" sign in front of it.
    >(Be sure to include a space before the "+" sign.)

    >Another method for doing this is conducting a phrase search, which simply means putting quotation marks around
    >two or more words. Common words in a phrase search (e.g., "where are you") are included in the search.

    (This is followed by a couple of examples.)

    Notice the lack of mention of double quotes being equivalent to "+".

    So unless the use of double quotes being equivalent to "+" was a hidden feature back then, I would say that that feature was itself a recent innovation which Google quietly slipped in; and having added it in has now decided to make it the one and only way by remove the old "+" feature.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? boilerk 12/15/11 2:41 PM

    I use Google search hundreds of times a day. It has turned noticeably useless for months. A search engine without an AND operator, what a $hame, and double quote, what a cr@p.

    Obviously some Google people do not know that changing a home page changes a lot, #ell a lot.

    Those who determined to push google+ at all cost will eventually get axed. Nobody is bigger than consumers.

    Welcome to Bing. Peace.

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? mauri64 12/23/11 6:39 AM
    Google is getting more and more unusable. Some operators that don't work any longer:

    - double quotes for phrase search ("this is a phrase I would like to find EXACTLY as typed")
    - "+" operator (bye bye)
    - "-" operator (bye bye. Sometimes works sometimes doesn't work)
    - "link:" operator (bye bye. Removed by now)
    - "site:" operator (fuzzy)
    - "cache:" removed

    Why? Simple: fuzzy result mean MORE ADS (AdWords) and more money for BigG.
    I hate Bing or Yahoo, but I think I will go there. YOU FORCED ME, GOOGLE.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Anttna 12/26/11 6:22 PM
    Hey Google people. 'Just letting you know that since you killed your "+" operator I've reverted to other search engines, after using Google exclusively for 6-7 years. Your search engine annoys me now.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? WalterChadwick1967 12/27/11 12:43 PM
    RE: Kelly F's Update
    You are probably a very nice person but your answers appear to come from Google's Legal/Marketing department.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Noffo 12/28/11 9:16 PM
    I just wish I had AltaVista's actual boolean searches with wildcards back again.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? hexeditrix 12/29/11 6:06 PM
    I've just changed my default browser search engine to Bing. How does requiring four keystrokes when one used to work improve things? How were searches with the plus operator preceding words getting mixed up with Google+ related searches? I don't buy this. The figure of less than half a percent of people using this is still a +lot of people. By that reasoning, most advanced search techniques and useful prefixes will soon be for the chop. And for the record, the quality of Google search results (without operators) for specialist IT topics has plummeted over the past year. It is not a good sign of things to come.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? syklist 1/4/12 3:43 AM
    Yep Google search is just plain annoying now. I miss the ability to subtly alter my searches using + - and/or " ". I'm getting too much garbage back these days from Google searches. I'm now past the point of worrying what has gone wrong with the development teams and management at Google. It is just a shame that they have adopted the "force it down their throats" style of business.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Johnffffff 1/13/12 7:22 AM
    I too have had it with the lack of basic boolean functionality.  I can't tell you upset it makes me that you can't provide ANY way of requiring all terms be matched exactly and included on every result, or at least the first results.  For $@%#s sake Google.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Johnffffff 1/13/12 8:09 AM
    Okay, I finally found the "verbatim" option.  When did that show up?  I have been frustrated about this for over a year, and obviously I'm not the only one.  Anyway, here it is:
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? TonyXavier 1/13/12 3:07 PM
    Everyone bitter or sad Google removed the plus (+) and minus (-) operators should realize that for Google to honor it's motto, "First, do no evil" Google had to remove these operators. Google realized not doing so would be evil because these operators give every skilled searcher a decided advantage over those who do not use them, i.e., almost everybody.  No longer will skilled searchers have an advantage over millions of unskilled searchers. Google has now become politically correct. I have been reading comments in this thread and it seems like almost everyone who has had something to say about Google removing the plus (+) and minus (-) operators has been critical. I think they have simply failed to consider Google's position, how could they possibly believe they were not doing evil when they gave skilled searchers such a decided advantage?  They couldn't. Google realized it and they fixed the problem. If we love Google, if we love to be politically correct in almost every area of our lives, we should be thanking Google for making this much needed change. Now c'mon people, quite griping and show Google some love.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Sean F. 3/13/12 6:04 AM
    Removal of the + operator is a step backwards and search results are getting noticeably worse.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Clif Gazaway 4/2/12 9:56 PM
    My life has been destroyed by Googles changes.
    For years I have spent hours every day doing very precise Google searches.
    Over the years I honed my search technique. Perfected it.  Google was wonderful. I would order info from google and google delivered exactly what I ask for.

    Suddenly, I thought I was totally mentally disabled.
    I am age 72.  I thought it was dementia or something like that.
    Google (or my mind) stopped working.

    I am now dispondent.  Very depressed.  Nothing to get out of bed for.

    I am greiving for the death of my Google.  I refuse to accept the death of Google.  I go back and try one more search, hoping that she was still alive.  But she is dead.  Google is dead

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? cryptique23 4/17/12 6:46 AM
    Hey Google!

    No one, and I mean no one, not one f***ing person, outside of Google's offices, approves of you removing the plus sign from searches.

    If you really believe in "don't be evil," why don't you bow to your users' unanimous wishes and restore a crucial feature that wasn't broken?

    This change makes your core product less user-friendly. Google built its entire empire on its search, and now you've gone and screwed that up, without a good reason. I know, I know, I can put single terms in quotes. How is that better? Why did that necessitate the removal of the plus sign operator? I still haven't seen any satisfactory answers to these questions. Also, I never saw any publicity of this change -- you just rolled it out, and users like me started throwing things across the room because their searches no longer worked the way they used to -- the way they're supposed to.

    THIS IS BAD FOR BUSINESS. If you really wanted to lose market share to the horrible alternatives out there (hello, Bing?), I can think of no better way to do it than to fundamentally alter the way your users use you core functionality without telling them.

    I have nothing but contempt for the morons who green-lighted this change. You earn far too much money for being so unbelievably stupid.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? bhtkevin 4/17/12 7:41 AM
    I am done with google... this is the most annoying "feature" that google has every released. LISTEN TO YOUR USERS.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? WhatAMess 5/16/12 5:04 PM
    This is a MESS!!! I couldn't figure out what has been wrong with searches and can't believe Google did something that was so STUPID! Bring back the plus sign! Who was the clown that thought it was a good idea to take it away? Why not just require ten or twenty key strokes to deal with something like used to work so well. If it ain't broke, DON'T FIX IT. Well's it's BROKEN now so FIX IT!
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? MikeyMike01 6/8/12 2:13 AM
    Google needs to pull their head out of their ass and put the god damn plus symbol back the way it belongs!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? WTF+ 6/9/12 8:17 AM
    Give us back our + . Fuck google+, why should we suffer because some dumb ass in marketing didn't know enough to not use the + sign? I will not use google+, I hope others follow suite.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? StemCell 6/16/12 4:13 PM

    It is a fact the only reason Google removes things like this and other stuff that made their search engine and data handling AMAZING, is to pump their ad revenue.

    They are no longer a company that grows in popularity by making products that help people. They are now a company chasing the biggest markets and the biggest revenue models with the least amount of work. They are now owned by wall street,

    The worst part is the developing world's internet users have lost years of their learning life due to google's dumbing down their search engine results.

    I became brilliant, with a great deal of assistance from Google's precise search operators. I was able to learn what I needed to three times faste than the average internet novice. The problem is too many people learned about these shortcuts and google bent over to wall street. In internet terms, it was overnight that google became completely useless.

    Kind of reminds me of when Bill Clinton announced his financial team while president. Nothing against Bill as they've owned and run the government ever since. It's pathetic and it's sad as most people don't see the truth but our great nation is 20 years from it's real crash. It's over and companies are grabbing all they can before it comes crashing down.

    I no longer own Google stock, your board members and shareholder's have set learning back by 20 years by withholding data and knowledge, in favor of page impressions. Can't wait till you start selling our email data you greedy pigs.

    All the tools that allowed accessing raw data have been scrapped. You now own everyone's data and you are not allowing access. Google will fall and I'm guessing it will be class action and antitrust. This was a joke and preposterous until you turned evil. Now I welcome the day. THe sheep will continue to follow you as they are dumb anyway. They never knew what they lost.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? tzofeolam 6/17/12 8:51 AM
    > We're constantly making changes...

    And this is your main problem, because you constantly broke things that worked. I'm not against changes but they need to be adequate. Why can't you support both the + operator and the quotation? Do googlers think about backward compatibility?
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? evanwidloski 6/27/12 7:57 PM
    Quotation and + should serve different purposes.  For example, you would use quotations to interpret a phrase as a single term and prevent word scrambling, though not requiring it to be in the results: "I walked from Denver to New York"  instead of getting the result "I walked from New York to Denver".  + should fulfill its original use as requiring the search term to be in the results.

    This allows for more advanced searches. 
    If one were to search:     I walked from +"New York to Denver" "with my friend Cathy"
    This would require "New York to Denver" to be in the results, but also include "with my friend Cathy" if it matches exactly.

    Aside from this, the '+' operator should be restored for simplicity and backwards compatibility.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? evanwidloski 6/27/12 8:01 PM
    Not sure if trolling or serious.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? tamhg 7/14/12 3:16 AM
    The change has nothing to do with improving searches for users. It's to promote Google+ searches. Using a + operator before or after a term retrieves results from Google+. I just found out today. So Since last fall when they didn't bother telling anyone I've been wasting my time using + to include a term. Google knew it would get people upset, I figure that's why they didn't publicize the change.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Stephanie A. 7/19/12 5:54 PM
    I wondered why searching TermA +TermB had started returning No results.  Yet there clearly ARE results including both terms.  + as a Boolean operator has been around for decades. While I don't generally consider myself an oldster, I'm not happy with having to relearn the search logic. Having to go back and insert quotes in two places is rather annoying, especially on a mobile device where it can be hard to get the cursor in exactly the right place once, much less twice..

    Why not run both methods, or if you're going to disable plus, just ignore it. Don't make it BREAK the results. 
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? HiredMind 8/8/12 8:51 AM
    By the way, everyone - Bing still has this functionality.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? use duckduckgo 8/28/12 4:03 PM
    Try to get your + back.  I also like the autoscrolling when you get to the bottom of your results pages.  Landscape on my tablet is a problem for me because the duckduckgo ad covers the search field...other than that...happy my + works and it is pulling from the google search engine.  Also, it doesn't bubble you.  Bubbles suck.  I got stuck in one where I couldn't find a particular site unless I was at my house.  Finally had to send it through email to my work to get to it.  Even after I visited the site at work, still always had to use the bookmark.  Usually, the bubble is okay...just had this one occurrence for me.  Most of the time my bubbles look just like my colleagues...just the home and work thing messed with me.  TED had a good conference on internet bubbles.  I think it is actually hard to get trapped in one though.  I never saw a difference between my colleague and myself and you would think that it would be different.  Pricing bubbles are about the worst though.  You get one price and your buddy gets something different...I always find this a poor business tactic and usually try to shop elsewhere when I see this.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? GoogleIsUseless 9/27/12 3:33 PM
    Google searches have now become useless. (What in the @#$% are they doing to destroy their once great, but now useless search engine?) I came across the "Bing It On" comparison test between Bing and Google. Perhaps not surprisingly, Bing won! Here's a link to the blind comparison test:

    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Damien Wang 11/6/12 6:43 PM
    Now, the - (NOT) operator doesn't seem to work either:

    birds:             601,000,000 results
    birds -africa: 1,210,000,000 results
    birds NOT africa: 82,800,000 results
    africa -"birds": 2,680,000,000 results
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? GoogleIsUseless 11/6/12 8:42 PM
    Unbelievable. Google has now become so completely useless that I'm now regularly using Bing and Yahoo - something that I would have never done just two years ago.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Vermilion Heinlein 11/21/12 12:43 PM

    WOW, I am happy to see there's people that noticed this big mistake as well...

    I noticed that all of sudden google became less efficient, and now we can tell why... besides, I personally dislike to press " twice, while I had to do it just once with the + operator.

    Still, where's the person that takes this into account and shows it to somebody capable of doing something GOOD in google?
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Jeremy Gross 12/10/12 4:19 PM
    Your new functionality would be fine with me, if it worked.  As it is though, I find it often impossible to search for an exact phrase.  In this case, I want the word "Checking...", not " check ", not "checker", not "checked", and not " checking ".  However, your engine consistently ignores both the ellipsis and the verb tense in the so-called exact phrase.  

    In this case, the search I'm unable to search for is:
    Chrome unable to add extension "Checking..."

    A user whose loyalty is waning.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? daveslc 1/9/13 3:22 PM
    This solution doesn't work. Using ["quotes" golf] gives you search results with pages that don't have the word qoutes in them. (actually my search terms are different, but there seems to be no way to force results that include a particular search term.

    Please bring back the + operator.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? GoogleIsUseless 1/9/13 9:23 PM
    Kelly is a useless talking head for Google and hasn't showed up in this forum for ages. Google has literally become so bad, and it getting worse everyday. I'm at the computer now and trying to help my son with a homework assignment - Google is so horrendously bad that I'm now using ONLY Bing to help him as their results are far more accurate than Google's. I'm also a longtime user of Google Scholar - that too has becoming increasingly useless. It appears as if Google is working overtime to destroy their once exemplary search engine. Two years ago, I would never consider using Bing for anything - now, it's becoming my search engine of choice.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Math Box 1/18/13 5:41 AM
    I agree! :) 

    Before, I tried searching for:

    The +thin +red +line


    "The thin red line"'s eeeeEfficient... and well thought of. :) Kudos!
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Vermilion Heinlein 1/18/13 9:53 AM

    Arrow Head, your example lacks knowledge of this feature indeed.

    "The thin red line" asks google to look for and display results containing that complete-concrete phrase.

    The +thin +red +line asks google to look for results containing the words thin, red and line in whatever order; however, you'll have results limited to entries that ONLY include those 3 words.

    In the past I could look for this:

    "The thin red line" +brands +screens

    That would return a result referrering to  "the thin red line", LIMITED to entries that INCLUDE the words brands and screens.

    However, if I look for the "The thin red line" "brands" "screens"

    I shall get a result that speaks of "the thin red line" and that MAY INCLUDE the words "brands" and "screens".

    To put it simple, you cannot tailor your queries.

    (unknown) 1/27/13 10:11 AM <This message has been deleted.>
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? Leo Smith III 1/27/13 11:22 AM
    I have moved to Yahoo, where the operands work.
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? GuerillaBeek 2/8/13 8:53 AM
    Exactly - Google has now doubled the number of characters required to perform a focused search. 
    Re: Boolean + operator removed? Why? His Dudeness 2/8/13 5:56 PM
    Major change in functionality here, for the worse.  I have switched to Bing now as it fully supports boolean searches as a good engine should.  Google seems to have forgotten their roots.  I guess if they add this back, maybe an 'advanced mode' I will check back.
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