How do I get the old Google search results back?
March 1, 2012 10:36 AM   Subscribe

So, it would appear that Google have changed their search algorithms. Using search queries that would have previously returned hundreds of results I am getting a handful of results which are mostly irrelevant / gibberish. Any ideas how I can go back to the "old" Google? Thanks!
posted by FuckingAwesome to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
It would be helpful if you gave some examples of the search queries you're talking about.
posted by Kimberly at 10:39 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Generally, you can't. Algorithm changes are irreversible from a user perspective, but if it's a case where your search terms are just being parsed differently, you could try using different sets of operators.

If you could give us an example, it'll help.
posted by Oktober at 10:44 AM on March 1, 2012

Response by poster:

OK, this is an example! This "should" bring up hundreds if not thousands of results, since Foucault is the author of one of the foundational texts in this field.
posted by FuckingAwesome at 10:46 AM on March 1, 2012

Here you go. They changed the plus operator to integrate with Google+. You have to put a term that has to be on the page in quotes now.
posted by stopgap at 10:48 AM on March 1, 2012 [7 favorites]

Have you tried Google Scholar? I'm getting hundreds of links with it:\
posted by Trexsock at 10:49 AM on March 1, 2012

(See also.)
posted by stopgap at 10:49 AM on March 1, 2012

Odd. No idea why, but if you remove the "+" from foucault and leave "sociology of punishment" in quotes you're back to lots of results.
posted by merocet at 10:50 AM on March 1, 2012

what stopgap said. I had to change my search strategies to get around the now-broken plus operator. short version - you need to quote single words now.
posted by zippy at 10:50 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

You can use the '+' operator by entering "Verbatim" mode.

I can find that under "Search", "More", "Search Tools". Who knows what they do when you try it from wherever you are, though.

I'm not happy about this.
posted by thelonius at 10:53 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

details how to go into verbatim mode.

+ was simple, intuitive and accurate. I miss it so much.
posted by sandra_s at 11:58 AM on March 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

You don't need to click lots of buttons to find verbatim mode -- putting quotes around your search term does exactly what the '+' operator used to do.
posted by brainmouse at 11:59 AM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also, if you just put a space between + and Focault, there are 14,800 results. Like this.
posted by klausman at 1:19 PM on March 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Any ideas how I can go back to the "old" Google?

You could use Bing
posted by banshee at 8:37 AM on March 2, 2012

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