Thursday, November 17, 2011

Use Google Verbatim to Get Exact Search Results

When you enter a query into the search box on Google and press Enter, Google takes the query and runs a “complex set of algorithms that expands and improves the query you’ve typed to find the best results”. In an effort to improve search results Google will automatically correct spelling, substitute some keywords with synonyms, make personalization based on your search history, match similar terms to those in your query, and sometimes even drop words from the query. Unfortunately, rather than improving the results it often pollutes it by bringing in lots of unrelated links.

To get results matching the exact query Google suggests users to add quotes “ ” to the query. Previously Google supported the ‘+’ operator that helped users search for specific terms. Now the plus operator is replaced by double quotes which requires you to include every keyword you want to force search on Google within quotes. To make this easier on the users, Google has rolled out a new search option called Verbatim.

Just click "show more search tools" in the sidebar, select "Verbatim" and Google will no longer modify your query.

verbatim-without

verbatim-with

With the Verbatim tool, you can search using the exact keywords you typed.

The searches you make on Google are usually improved to help minimize your time spent searching and get you the information you really want. Here are some of the improvements Google makes:

  • suggest spelling corrections and alternative spellings
  • personalize your search by using information such as sites you’ve visited before
  • include synonyms of your search terms to find related results
  • find results that match similar terms to those in your query
  • search for words with the same stem, like "running" when you search for [ run ]

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