The question, “Is there a way to search in Google using regular expressions (regex)?”, was posted more than 12 years ago.
This question has attracted ~149,000 views, received a positive score of 82, and generated several highly upvoted answers.
For 12 years, it remained open, and the traffic and continued voting activity on this question and the answers show that it has been well-received and helpful to the community. During that time, no one ever flagged this question for closure, neither by any community member nor by any moderator [question’s timeline].
However, to my surprise, a moderator closed this post yesterday as an off-topic web app recommendation question and added the webapp-rec tag for off-topic questions.
I don’t understand how this closure reason applies, and I don’t agree that this question deserves to be closed.
This question closure is confusing to me since the question does not ask for software or web app recommendations but is about using regex in Google Search (a web app that is on-topic). This is also evident from the well-received answers, which don’t recommend any other web apps.
Additionally, another question “Can I use advanced regex pattern search in Google search?” was recently closed as a duplicate of the aforementioned question. This effectively also labeled it as an off-topic web app recommendation.
Neither of these questions asks for any web app recommendations. Several other non-web-app-recommendation questions are also marked as duplicates of the question.
Can the moderator team please clarify why this well-received question was closed?
Was there a recent change in the site policy or community consensus that affected this question? (This meta post also serves as a request to reopen the aforementioned question.)