San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Digging for Roots Online: R. I. P. Google’s Tilde

By Dennis L. Maness, MLS
Some of you (most of you?) read that title and thought “Tilde?”.

In an earlier blog post in 2012 on the subject of genealogy books online I wrote:
 “Quick Search Tip—On Google the use of the tilde “~” (it’s on the top of the upper left key on my keyboard) means that the search will include synonyms of the word you’re searching for. For instance “~genealogy” will include the words “family history”, “family tree” “vital records” “genealogical” “surname” and probably many more in your search.”

The news that this is now no longer available as a search operator on Google is one of the reasons I read genealogy blogs. I recently read the October 9, 2014 Lisa Louise Cooke’s “Genealogy Gems” blog  that announced that the tilde had gone away.

Apparently this happened, with no notice, sometime before June 15, 2013 so all my searches using the tilde since then have been misleading.  Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Why did Google use the tilde? In math, the “~” symbol means “is similar to.” The tilde told Google to search for pages that are synonyms or similar to the term that follows. But I digress.

Now we will have to go back to using (genealogy OR geneology OR “family history” OR genealogical) ad infinitum.

There is a list of Google’s current Search Operators at Search Operators  and 

I missed the “+” sign when Google “deprecated” it (the term they use) and now this. Oh well, life goes on.


Remember, as Legacy Family Tree’s Geoff Rasmussen says,

“Life is short; do genealogy first!”