Social Media

List of search operators deleted by Google over the years

Google has a list of advanced search operators to give you more accurate results. With these search operators you can limit your search to include results only from one website (Search for origami on using origami Or you could tell Google to search only the title of the website. (Find webpages that have croquet in the title using intitle:croquet). Google has a bunch of these handy search operators, but over time they remove some of them.

Here’s a list of a search operators that Google has killed over the years.



Removed November 2010
People were complaining about seeing their phone number appear in Google’s search results, so Google rightfully removed this search feature.


ewok +lumat

+ (plus sign)

Removed October 2011
The plus sign forced Google to search for that word. So if you searched for: ewok +lumat, it would search for “ewok,” but limit the results to pages that included “lumat”. Now Google suggests you modify your search to be: ewok “lumat”. For awhile after this change, the plus sign was used by Google to search for Google+ pages. Example: +baseball. But now, the plus sign doesn’t work for that either.


author:Blair Kamin


Removed December 2011
This was for Google News only. You used to be able to find articles based on the author’s name. But a search for authorname: firstname lastname no longer gives results.


~food facts

~ (tilde)

Removed June 2013
The tilde enabled users to get results for different variations of your search query. “For example, ~food facts includes results for ‘nutrition facts‘,” explained Google. 




Fading away February 2016
An incredibly powerful search operator, linkto: allowed you to search for all the websites that link to a particular URL. Search for and you get all the webpages that link to Or you could use this search operator to find websites that link to a particular article. Let’s say you just read a fascinating blog post, but there are no comments. You’d like to see what the internet has to say about this post. You could search and see who has linked to this article. The linkto: operator isn’t completely removed from Google yet, but you get such bad results that it’s pretty much useless now.

If you know of any other Google search operators that have been removed, please let me know in the comments. Thank you.


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