Google Literally Replaces + Operator With Verbatim Tool

Nov 16, 2011 • 9:15 am | comments (5) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Google VerbatimGoogle announced a new search option that replaces + operator they dropped about a month ago, so it can be used for Google + direct search.

Google said they removed it because it was rarely used and today, Google shared the stats on that. They said "the "+" operator in less than half a percent of all searches, and two thirds of the time, it was used incorrectly."

So instead, they added a "verbatim" option under the "More search tools" on the left hand side.

Using it will perform a literal search, and not do anything with the following:

  • making automatic spelling corrections
  • personalizing your search by using information such as sites you've visited before
  • including synonyms of your search terms (matching "car" when you search [automotive])
  • finding results that match similar terms to those in your query (finding results related to "floral delivery" when you search [flower shops])
  • searching for words with the same stem like "running" when you've typed [run]
  • making some of your terms optional, like "circa" in [the scarecrow circa 1963]

Matt Cutts from Google said in a Hacker News thread:

I know that a lot of people were sad that we switched from +word to "word" to do an exact match for a word.

The good news is that we're rolling out a "literal mode" that will search for exactly the words you typed. It does a verbatim match with your words, so it turns off things like spelling corrections, stemming, synonyms, optionalized terms, and so on. I think we saw multiple proposals for this on Hacker News, so thanks for the suggestion.

He then fields dozens of questions about the tool and the rational behind it.

Forum discussion at Hacker News & Google Web Search Help.

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