Google Drops Discussions Search Filter & Others

Jan 22, 2014 • 7:56 am | comments (91) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Now when you search Google, a nice number of search filters have been removed, including the discussions filter. The number of filters or vertical options have been drastically reduced. Here is an example.

Google Drops Discussion Filter

But if you look at an article from six months ago, the options for that search were much more vast.

Google Discussion Filter

Now we have web, images, shopping, maps, news, videos, books, flights and applications. We are now missing places (which is maps I guess), blogs, discussions, recipes, and patents.

All Google Testing also notes that the order of the filter options have changes based on your query. Interesting.

For some, the removal of these additional filters is very upsetting. A Google Web Search Help thread has one searcher who said "very annoying as I rely on this function a lot."

Forum discussion at Google Web Search Help.

Update: Here is a response from a Google spokesperson:

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.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: January 21, 2014


Utkarsh Sahu

01/22/2014 01:11 pm

What really troubled me is the news/blog filter. Apparently search for blogs feature is missing!

Subhash Prajapati

01/22/2014 02:33 pm

Still not dropped.


01/22/2014 04:29 pm

all things to make more money. bloggers, be aware, new anti-blogging penguin is coming soon!

Alexander Hemedinger

01/22/2014 04:33 pm

Yea I need that desperately for my blog. :(


01/22/2014 07:54 pm

That's weird. I still get "blogs" as a search filter.

Linda Buquet

01/22/2014 09:04 pm

Hi Barry, (Cross-posting my comment from SEland in case it helps your users.) 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: Discussion search: Video search: 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: 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.


01/22/2014 10:21 pm

Thank you .I was going mental here.


01/23/2014 01:32 am

Thank you so much for posting this. I would be lost without the Discussion search filter. You seriously just saved me from having a breakdown.


01/23/2014 05:50 am

I'm pissed they took 'Blogs' away. Now, you have to do a separate search for the blog-search first.

Utkarsh Sahu

01/23/2014 06:55 am

Alex... let me know if u find a decent solution.. I will do the same as well


01/23/2014 09:33 am

Crazy. They should stop trying to double guess the searcher's requirements and get back to serving relevant results for the query. Utter garbage.

Henk van Ess

01/23/2014 12:44 pm

Incredible .. Dumbing down Google for the masses is ok , but keep something left for the Pro's. They killed synonym search, blog search, realtime translation. What's next?

Alexander Hemedinger

01/23/2014 02:15 pm

Will do. We'll keep in touch. Thanks!

Rose B.

01/23/2014 02:15 pm

Why the "flights"?!! It just makes me angry thinking about TSA and crowded, noisy airplanes. ;(

Rose B.

01/23/2014 02:18 pm

Some more: Blogs: Discussions: Images: Patents: Places: Recipes: Videos: I got the info from here:

Aaron C

01/23/2014 08:56 pm

GOOGLE!!!! STOP MESSING WITH THINGS FOR THE SAKE OF MESSING WITH THEM!!!! God in heaven, why do they remove functionality that users have come to rely on?? No more "discussion" filter? THANKS for NOTHING google! You're turning into Apple -- the company that makes you use technology how THEY want you to use it. I'm as big a Google user as they get, but you are seriously trying my patience. Still smarting over the removed functionality from the Google Play App on browsers.

Josh Bjelovuk

01/24/2014 12:00 am

I wrote a very simple user script to add this back: Cheers.

Mandy B

01/24/2014 03:01 am

This is stupid. I like more control. Now I am looking for a new search engine.


01/24/2014 03:33 am

Thanks again again Google for TELLING me what's more important to me than letting poor old me decide for myself. Does sarcasm carry over well in a text without emoticons?


01/24/2014 08:28 am

Considering that I use the discussions filter every single day, at least a dozen times, I noticed its absence immediately and was quite upset!


01/24/2014 09:55 am

Yet another obnoxious interface change by Google. They remove features without explanation, hoping everyone just accepts it. They should at least mention it on their search blog or whatever, but no.. they just remove it without a word.


01/24/2014 04:29 pm

nothing happened after I added it. (yes, I know to drop an unsupported extension into the extensions area). still no ability to search by discussion after closing & reopening browser as well. Is this working for anyone?


01/24/2014 05:49 pm

I had the same reaction. I was literally yelling!

Josh Bjelovuk

01/24/2014 06:29 pm

It's not an extension. It's a user script that requires an extension like Tampermonkey or Greasemonkey to install.

Danielle Mörlund

01/24/2014 09:01 pm

Ditto. It was such a useful tool.

Joe Blow

01/25/2014 12:45 am

I also find it quite creepy how Google is trying to humanize their search algorithm to the point where they think they can do this because well, they have spied on your searching habits and profiled you enough to just know what you want. Fine, fair enough except you don't know what I want! That's why I fucking use the discussions filter and others regularly! Put it back!

Jason Hicks

01/25/2014 02:43 am

I believe Google took this out so its harder to research certain things and you have to go thru different sources which google gets paid per click to advertize. Im not sure on this but I know for fact that it has nothing to do with our interests.. its about whats best for google.. now its time to find a different way to get the info i need


01/25/2014 04:24 am

Thank god. I won't miss some of them as I didn't know they existed!


01/25/2014 05:56 pm

Thanks so much. This script works for me.


01/25/2014 06:01 pm

"Thank god"? You didn't know they existed, but you're thankful that they are gone? Jeez...


01/25/2014 10:28 pm

Well, just another extremely annoying aspect of Google as of recently. I;m not going to go into a list, but between having to click a bunch of dots to access the calendar, etc. to removing the option to select an area of a website to screenshot (in Google's Screen Capture Extension) to having to click the double arrows in Chrome to access the extensions, this is a big one! However, I did find a loophole, which I am reluctant to post about as a Google employee will see it and then they will close that loophole.


01/26/2014 12:46 am

Don't forget the "inbox" on youtube that has been moved more than once. Now if you want to check your inbox, you have to cycle through a couple options first. Fuck google. Stopped using youtube and closed my account. Fucking google fucked everything. And now they are trying to infiltrate your personal life at home.


01/26/2014 02:39 am

I seriously do not understand the logic of this company. Why bring out new products and new features, have users adopt them, then when they become commonplace decide to axe them? Reader, iGoogle and a number of the search features are just a few examples. It's like their business model is to deliberately drive customers to competing services! For example, Feedly, ighome, etc. Why?!


01/26/2014 02:54 am

This is some nannification right here.


01/26/2014 05:42 am

DON'T BE EVIL. You can't monetize anything if you monetize everything to the point that people get sick of your crap and look elsewhere. Scroogle


01/26/2014 02:46 pm

Wow. If bing let's me filter to forum results, I think I might try that for a change. This is stupid.


01/26/2014 06:21 pm

"We’re always making changes to Search to help you find the most useful things more easily" That's funny, b/c this does EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE! How stupid does this Google think we are? Time to find a new search engine. I can't use the web efficiently for my purposes without Discussion search.


01/26/2014 09:21 pm

Wow Vyasamoorthy, way to be selfish to the people who LIKED the search filters. Why would you thank god when so many people are affected by the change!! It makes it harder for so many people!


01/26/2014 09:22 pm

Yes exactly!! I was thinking the same thing as I get less paid postings when I click into discussions & recipes filters.


01/27/2014 02:20 am

Man, this is rubbish. The best search filters removed and I can't even fathom what Google possibly hope to get out of removing my beloved forum / discussion filter.

Teresa Nichols

01/27/2014 03:19 am

This is the final straw for me and I will be using a different search engine. Their search results have gone way,way down hill in the last couple of years anyway in my opinion.


01/27/2014 06:09 am

Tried to use this today to find some personal experiences with an anti nausea med that my mom is taking for her cancer. All I get are these bs ads about this medication when I do a normal search. Thanks a lot jerks. Googles reputation is just forever getting worse, from privacy issues, YouTube, Google plus, and sucking up to advertisers. Oh, and your synonymous search algorithm finds me exactly what I'm NOT looking for. Everyone is starting to hate you now and once it becomes cool to hate you, you will be done for. Great job. Keep it up.

Jim Johnson

01/27/2014 05:36 pm

For me, this is a terrible decision. As a corporate researcher the discussion and blog filters were immensely helpful. When I am doing research on a company, I don't need to see their ad-sponsored sites or websites selling their products. What I need is more behind the scenes information from customers, employees, service techs and more. I know Google makes enormous amounts of money through ads, but I agree with others on this discussion list that its time to knock Google down on my search engine list.


01/28/2014 02:12 pm

They've moved Shopping to where Images used to be for me, keep hitting it by accident from muscle memory


01/28/2014 04:35 pm

Suggestion for an alternate search engine:

Oskar Oskarsson

01/28/2014 04:57 pm

I think if someone will startup a website just with discussion search, this guy will make fortune or at least becoming popular among a bunch of Internet users.

Oskar Oskarsson

01/28/2014 05:00 pm

I think Google just want to say: "It's just business nothing personal"...... "Ka ching"


01/29/2014 04:25 am


01/29/2014 09:13 am

Microsoft, if you're listening watching. This is your opportunity to shine with Bing. Introduce, Bing discussion search, Bing Usenet Group search, Bing Image reverse search + Image match, and add Youtube video search results with Bing Video. If you do all that Google would be practically dead in my eyes. I'd never use them again.

Mike Smith

01/29/2014 05:54 pm

That's awful.. I will miss the "discussions" filter..

Aaron C

01/29/2014 11:09 pm

Starting to think they do this crap on purpose, just to get more hits where they need them internally or something. So infuriating.

Aaron C

01/29/2014 11:10 pm

Hadn't even thought of that, but you're right. This has to be about money. Seems like it always is, huh?

Google Sucks

01/30/2014 12:25 am

Disgusting that they've gotten rid of the discussions option - it's vital for a lot of people that choose to use google specifically for that option. To now not have it available any longer will mean google will not be visited by myself any longer.


01/30/2014 02:29 am

So I typed in 'what does everyone think of life insurance?' and I got 'Apps' as well. So relevant.

Frank Zunderer

01/30/2014 08:47 pm

There is a workaround: if you search for flights then you can switch to discussions and blogs from there. I guess they forgot it there so this might not be working forever though.

Rosemarie Firmin

01/30/2014 10:12 pm

Thanks very much! :)


01/30/2014 11:45 pm

Seriously. This is a joke. And changing the order of the filters depending on query is just as stupid. You're just aggravating people's sense memory to be different. It feels like Google is trying to herd instead of enabling them to best use their product. Discussions search gave you a type of deep and particular search that made a lot of other websites obsolete. I guess I should go hunting those down now, unless they all shut down after Google replaced them.


01/31/2014 12:01 pm

great that works

Dr. Manhattan

01/31/2014 04:48 pm

Use this extension instead of Google's shitty one: Awesome screenshot

Ali Baba

01/31/2014 09:23 pm

I'm pissed they took iGoogle away, now I dont know what to do :(

Sheila Aliens

02/01/2014 12:42 pm

Install this chrome plugin, it restores the discussion search function. works fine.

Sheila Aliens

02/01/2014 12:45 pm

or just install this plugin

Sheila Aliens

02/01/2014 12:45 pm

Utkarsh Sahu

02/01/2014 12:49 pm

How does it help, I still can't find blogs

Utkarsh Sahu

02/01/2014 12:50 pm

Thanks for this Sheila


02/01/2014 06:36 pm

Yes, been using it ever since I found out that Google screen capture started to suck. Cheers On another note, looks like Frank Zunderer (posted 2 days ago) blew the door open on the loophole I found that I was reluctant to post. Don't get me wrong, I love helping others and sharing new finds, but not when it could mean that sharing THAT find could backfire. Oh well, just a matter of time now.


02/02/2014 11:37 am

Thanks Josh. Works great in JavaScript Blocker extension for Safari


02/02/2014 07:25 pm

Switching to another search engine...way to go google!


02/02/2014 09:59 pm

This is in regards to the undated update from the Google spokesperson. I searched for keywords that one would find in forums (e.g. mobile phones) and DISCUSSION groups, as well as searched for keywords (by themselves) such as 'forums', 'groups' and even 'discussions', but none of those triggered the 'DISCUSSIONS' search filter to appear when clicking the 'more' button. And only 'groups' brought back Google Groups as a result (mind you, the 3rd result, after Yahoo Groups and a local result, since I am logged into Google when I search). I did search for 'forums', 'groups' and 'discussions' in the most current IE where I am not signed into Google and it was the same results for 'forums' and 'discussions', but 'groups' did return Google Groups as the first result. And yes, I am aware I can toggle on/off personalized (private) results, as if I were not signed into Google. But Google has been all about promoting social and personalized results etc. for years now, so that's more or less a moot point. And interestingly enough, when I search for 'discussions' (plural), the first result is for Apple Support Communities.


02/03/2014 06:35 pm

I used the discussion feature on a daily basis. I found that tool to be very useful when searching for random information and topics. It helps alot to hear the opinions of "everyday people" vs an actual website. Is there an alternative search engine out there that does have a "discussion" filter?


02/04/2014 07:17 pm

The fact they removed discussion search filter really urkes me. I used it daily, now im just pissed off having to comb through every damn page to find what I want.


02/04/2014 07:22 pm

thanks for that


02/05/2014 01:44 am

discussion is bad. consuming good.

Spook SEO

02/07/2014 04:05 pm

I've noticed also the change on the rich snippets stars, and then the one tackled by @roachdawg, giving example about the query 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. I think it helps a lot but not in this issue.


02/08/2014 11:09 pm

Just more Google streamlinng for efficiency and they will never go back. I remember removing the cached site which is still available but its hard to get to and "search within results". The second option is all but impossible. Need I add Google+ and Youtube integration took things to a new extreme. Where can we go from here but down?

Suzanne Ennazus

02/11/2014 01:45 am

It was annoying when they removed the option for UK only pages. Why do popular sites change things for the worse?

Suzanne Ennazus

02/11/2014 01:46 am

I know. I could read everyday opinions rather than official news sites.


02/11/2014 07:30 am

I used discussion a lot, and it's a pitty to drop it. Any advice or alternative? Thanks.


02/12/2014 08:35 pm

Unbelievable! Thanks


02/15/2014 02:47 pm

that feature is still there..'pages from...'


02/17/2014 06:51 am

why would you get rid of these features? you butchered youtube now your going to butcher your own brand????? lmao


02/17/2014 11:37 pm

Nice one Google, you just carry on ruining everything.


02/18/2014 12:14 am

Try searching for anything with an even remotely "commercial" nature and all you will get now are commerce results - sites trying to sell you crap. My go-to solution to this problem used to be to search blogs or discussions, so I could see what real people were saying about XYZ...Now that option is gone. Google results are becoming more and more spammy and irrelevant every day.

Mixgalaxy Records

02/18/2014 05:56 am

Actually they still exist, but u need to type additional symbols (and it's annoying yes): - for discussions/groups - for blogs

Mixgalaxy Records

02/18/2014 05:56 am

Actually they still exist, but u need to type this: - for discussions/forums - for blogs


02/19/2014 02:59 pm

Great mix, i was looking for this stuff :) Google should not have removed the discussions stuff and blog also.


02/20/2014 06:14 am

Way to screw your customers. Google almost feel like EA forcing down shit down our throat. The results for discussion related things is shit now!


02/27/2014 01:28 am

thanks, I was looking for this!

Forbidden Fruit

02/28/2014 06:17 am

Fuck Google. They cost me my job a few years ago with the Panda algorithm change. Removing the 'Discussions' search has fucked a lot of people over too. This company masquerades as some hip, new-age organization but is no different than other too-big-to-fail corporations. Time to take my business to Bing, Duck-Duck-Go or Yahoo!


03/05/2014 12:55 am

WTF GOOGLE??!!! >:(


03/23/2014 06:39 am

Yet another step towards an advertising tool and an away from a search tool which is sold to us "people too stupid for the internet" as an "improvement" . Fuck you Google indeed!

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