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.”
Dan told Alex from Google Operating System:
Yes, it’s been deprecated. Why? Because too few people were using it to make it worth the time, money, and energy to maintain. In truth, although I sometimes disagree with the operator changes, I happen to agree with this one. Maintaining ALL of the synonyms takes real time and costs us real money. Supporting this operator also increases the complexity of the code base. By dropping support for it we can free up a bunch of resources that can be used for other, more globally powerful changes.
Google has recently dropped several search features in the past month including:
- Google: We Removed Instant Previews Over Low Usage From Searchers
- Google Local Results Drops “More Results Near…” To “Improve” Local Search Experience
- Google Drops “Translated Foreign Pages” Search Option Due To Lack Of Use
- Google Pulls Related Searches Filter Due To Lack Of Usage
There are probably other minor search features Google has dropped that we have not yet spotted yet.