Google Now Lets You Search for Exact Terms Using Verbatim

A few weeks ago, Google removed the ‘+’ operator that allowed users to specify Google search queries in a better way. According to Google, there was an alternative to the ‘+’ operator- the quotes (“your search term here”). With quotes, users could specify the exact word or phrase they wanted in the search results, just like using the ‘+’ operator.

Power users were not happy with the removal of ‘+’. They complained because the ‘+’ operator was handier than quotes. To pacify those users, Google has brought back the usability of the ‘+’ operator and quotes. However, this time, it has been put it in a drop-down style menu, and is called verbatim.

While the verbatim mode cannot justify the missing ‘+’ operator, it does a good job by searching for exact terms in the query. Moreover, the withdrawal of the ‘+’ operator was inevitable, given that less than 0.5% of searches used it, and out of those, two-third of them did not know how to use it correctly.

The Inside Search blog announced the verbatim search, saying:

With the verbatim tool on, we’ll use the literal words you entered without making normal improvements such as

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

You can access the verbatim search tool under More search toolson the left-hand side.

How to use Verbatim Search in Google?

Using the new verbatim search in Google is simple. It takes only two steps. First, you type-in your search query and perform a regular search. Do you notice how Google enforces a correction?
google-search-verbatim

Then, in the left sidebar, expand “More search tools” to get the verbatim option.

google-search-verbatim

Click on it and the search result will change, searching for the exact text you were looking for.

Apart from verbatim, Google is also working on a better search algorithm that will decide whether to correct the search query automatically,  or not.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.