Search engine giant and popular search engine marketing platform, Google, has changed the way in which advanced searches are conducted – preventing the use of the previous “+” operator – according to an article published by Search Engine Watch.

When a search containing the “+” operator is made, a message reading “the + operator has been replaced” is displayed.

Instead Google is now advising users: “To search for an exact word or phrase, use double quotation marks.”

The move has drawn a significant amount of criticism from users in some sections.

Google’s response hasn’t gone down particularly well either. Search Community Manager, Kelly Fee, trying answer a question posted in Google Web Search Help was accused of not answering the question in a full manner.

In a rather diplomatic response to the criticism, Fee responded: “One thing I’d like to add to my original post is that, as with any change we make to our search engine, we put a lot of thought into this modification, but we’re always interested in user feedback.”

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