Google Confirms That Filetype Search Operator’s Missing

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            Google Confirms That Filetype Search Operator’s Missing

Google’s filetype search operator went missing early Wednesday morning. Other search operators continue to function. SearchLiaison responds that it must be a bug.

Filetype Search Operator

The filetype: search operator is a way to search for results that are constrained to specific kinds of files like text, pdf, .doc files and many other kinds of files.

@jeroenbosman on Twitter called attention to the fact that the search operator stopped working several days ago on February 26th.

They tweeted:

“Two Google (search) options have apparently been switched off: searching by filetype and seeing the cache. The former will be missed especially, and searching for e.g. (policy) documents will become much harder because of it.”

But it must have subsequently been fixed because it was working on Tuesday evening because I used it. But it must have gone down in the United States a few hours later.

But then early morning Wednesday (Eastern Time) SearchLiaison tweeted a response that it must be a bug.

He tweeted:

“This is probably a bug on filetype, and we’re looking into it.”

Screenshot Of Missing Filetype Search Results

How To Make Filetype Operator Work

If the filetype search operator hasn’t been fixed later Wednesday, there is a way to bring it back.

The person who first reported the outage tweeted:

“One correction (HT @lawliberg) : you can still use filetype: as long as you also restrict to a domain using the site: command. Still a strange and deplorable restriction, just as the strange restriction that you cannot use verbatim in combination with date filter.”

That tweet was correct, combining the filetype: search operator with another search operator like the site: search operator makes the filetype: search operator function again.

Below is a screenshot of a search for a Microsoft Word document in the .doc file type, constrained to the .gov top level domain (TLD).

The Filetype Search Bug Is Spreading?

There were reports by people from around the world who were tweeting about the filetype: search issue several hours earlier. It remains to be seen how serious this bug is and how long it will last.

Featured Image by Shutterstock/photosince

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