Tuesday, August 11, 2009

+ syntax

The plan was to put up at least one blog post a week, and I will step up to the plate real soon with some great posts. I know i have been doing lots of Google syntax posts, here is another, i promise some more variety soon.

The Plus syntax, + , tells Google that you really meant what you typed in the search bar. it was really useful when google ignored one and two letter words. Now a days I don't use it very often at all, but it is good to be familiar with how it works.

Google likes to think it is smarter than you, (and it often is). Google will sometimes automatically change your spelling if they think you made a typo. Googler Matt Cutts explains this in more detail in a post on his blog. So if you typed the word correctly, and it really was what you were looking for you can tell that to google by adding a plus directly in front.

The other thing that Google does is include associated words, for example, if you search for motivates, Google may also search for motivated or motivate. and if you search for Street, Google will also included results for St. , Again, by adding the plus in front of the word you can tell google what you really wan; +motivates.

So here is an example of how I recently found this useful. I was researching Panis, who were natives enslaved by the French. This is what my search looked like:

Google assumed that what I really meant was the far more common word, Panic, and made that change for me. I changed my query to Slavery +panis, and then got the results I was after.

Note: you have to put the Plus directly in front of the word.
+ this + is + wrong +usage
+but +this +is +correct

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