Another day, another reason to remove Google from your Christmas card list.
Yesterday it came to light that Google has completely killed off the discussion search filter.
Back in January Google removed this feature from its search filter menu – along with the blog search filter and some others – but there were, until yesterday ways around this through the use of advanced search query strings or a Chrome extension. It was a little fussy, but it worked.
Not surprisingly, this news hasn’t gone down particularly well amongst past users of this filter. It was, afterall a very valuable tool for a host of reasons.
The discussion search filter allowed the user to look beyond Google’s first page: beyond shops, business listings, news and ads, in order to gain insight into actual real-life opinions. Such information is golddust to the online marketer, or anyone with a vested interest in what people are talking about in relation to any given subject.
Of course, the discussions haven’t gone away, it’s just that finding them is now a lot more time consuming.
Why Google has removed this function is not clear, but it likely comes down to one of two things: making more money or eradicating spam.
Whatever the motives, it’s a decision which hasn’t gone down particularly well here at Browser Media HQ.