The end of an era: Google abandons the “related” operator:

Related is one of the many special commands used to obtain more relevant search results on Google.

Over the past few days, the command has mysteriously disappeared and can no longer be used to make queries. The search engine simply removed it.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the news surrounding the disappearance of this search operator.

The search function known as “Related” is now obsolete

Google has announced its withdrawal, claiming that this search tool, whose role was to show web pages similar to the URL indicated, was little used and did not present adequate results.

The Related search tool will no longer be offered by Google

This decision was taken following the observation that use of this operator was relatively low, and that the results it produced were unsatisfactory.

Confirmation of Related’s demise was announced by Danny Sullivan via Twitter. He stated that the feature had not been effective for some time, mainly due to the outdated information it provided in some cases.

Moreover, its use was exceptionally rare. Danny Sullivan also mentioned the possibility of another way of displaying this type of information in the future.

What was the Related search operator?

Related was a feature that allowed users to obtain suggestions for websites similar to those they were currently searching for.

Opérateur de recherche Related

Source : abondance

In effect, users had to enter the command “related:” followed by the URL for which they wanted to obtain matching pages. Google would then establish a connection between the different URLs by comparing various attributes such as the topics mentioned on the page and the page’s main category.

Although the command is still operational and delivers results, Google has decided that it is no longer sufficiently beneficial. Users who still use it are therefore forced to look for alternatives, as the tool will no longer be updated.

The related: operator is no longer available in the help documentation

Further proof of this feature’s withdrawal is the deletion of its help documentation. Barry Schwartz was the first to notice the removal, and subsequently asked Google for confirmation. He received a positive response from Danny Sullivan.

This deletion will come as no surprise to many, as even before, the help documentation recommended caution when using this command.

It stated that the absence of your URLs in Related queries was not an indicator of the quality of your pages or other search signals.

It also pointed out that URL similarity was generally calculated only for the most popular URLs on the Internet and the data feeding the query operator. It should also be remembered that Related was not updated in real time.

As a result, recent popular URLs might not appear in the results of the Related query operator, which was not a good tool for determining URL-specific errors.

In summary

In conclusion, Google has removed the Related operator, given its low usage and inconclusive results. Users wishing to find web pages similar to a specific URL will now have to explore other methods to achieve their goal.

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