Google Now Changing The Top Search Filters Based On Query

google logo - basic 570x270Google is now dynamically changing the top search menu/filters based on the search query entered by the searcher.

So now, what options you see at the top might differ or be in a different order based on the query you enter into Google’s search box.

A Google spokesperson told us this based on noticing that some Google search filters went missing recently. Google said:

We’re always making changes to Search to help you find the most useful things more easily. Now when you search, the type of results you can select at the top of the page will vary depending on what makes sense for your search.

For example, if you search for “English to Tagalog” you’ll see ‘Apps’ that’ll help you with translation as well as ‘Books’ and ‘Shopping’ in case you’re looking to buy a printed or electronic dictionary.

The truth is, I cannot trigger the “missing” search filters to come up for places, blogs, discussions, recipes, and patents. We had all of those back six months ago and no matter what I search for, those options do not show up. The search tools do change based on my query being, let’s say, recipe related. But the recipe filter does not show up for [fudge brownies].

Here are screen shots of the top menu changing based on the query:

google top menu3

google top menu1

google top menu

google top menu2

We have asked for further clarification about the missing search filters that we cannot find for our sample queries.

In April, Google dropped the related search filter due to lack of use.

Postscript: Google added that the reason I no longer see some search filters or options is because they are now included in the main web search results. Google said, “While you’ll no longer see the option to filter results to only include Discussions, these types of results will be included in the overall web results.”

Postsctript #2: On July 15, 2014, Google has completely disabled the ability to search discussion forums.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: User Interface | Google: Web Search | Top News

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://www.seoskeptic.com/ Aaron Bradley

    Google has been doing this for a very long time indeed.

  • roseberry

    Yeah i thought the same thing. I kept looking for the new part.

  • http://localsearchforum.catalystemarketing.com/ Linda Buquet

    Hi Barry,

    Since I still have all search filters and use them sometimes for research, I saved the direct URL strings, so I will have them after Google pulls the plug on my filters.

    Will share here for you and anyone else that may find it helpful to still filter by those parameters.

    Blog search: https://www.google.com/search?q=key+phrase&tbm=blg

    Discussion search: https://www.google.com/search?q=key+phrase&tbm=dsc

    Video search: https://www.google.com/search?q=key+phrase&tbm=vid

    The Places search filter actually disappeared several months ago, but you can still get it with the URL string below. (However it’s totally different than it used
    to be and does not mirror the main search results ranking order.)

    Places search: https://www.google.com/search?q=key+phrase&tbm=plcs

    Sucks when Google takes something away and you wish you’d known so you could save the feature for future use. Now you have it. ;-)

    EDITED TO ADD: The URLS got truncated so mouse over or click through then bookmark the URL for future use if needed.

  • Guest

    I type in “credit unions” and it offers “Flights” in the filter, which takes me to assistance in booking flights. Whaaaaa?

  • Sarah Snyder

    I don’t get why Flights is one of the categories.

  • Kevin Anchi

    One more question does this work via gmail login?

  • Robert Macklyn

    Shit and I thought that there is some problem in my system and I formatted it.

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