Google has quietly dropped another search operator, the tilde (i.e. ~) search operator.
Google Operating System blog noticed the lack of support for the tilde operator over the weekend. Reportedly, Dan Russell, a Search Research Scientist at Google, confirmed Google dropped the feature. Dan said the feature was dropped to “lack of use.”
The SEL blog post also lists a number of other search features Google has dropped in recent months.
We’ve been saying this for years, Google has many audiences to try to make happy including shareholders. They are not solely in business to meet the needs of power searchers who use the advanced features they make available.
Google spends money in many different areas (where don’t they invest in tech?). Nevertheless, offering the tilde operator (and other advanced tools) can cost them “time, money, and energy” they would rather spend elsewhere. Remember, Google (and other general web search tools) are not in the information retrieval biz vs. more traditional vendors known to the library community. While they do provide information/data their revenue is derived from advertising and marketing services.