Search engines

Does anyone know of an Internet search engine that will only give results for my exact search terms, and not for similar terms?

Generally Google will show exact results at the top of the list if you enclose your search terms in double quotes - “search item

You mean like this?

Or this?

Or this?

Or this?

You linked to a search for “stop. go.” When I clicked on it, the first result was an image. The second result was for “go-stop.” In the middle of the page is “Stop and Go” and at the bottom is “go stop” again.

While close, it’s not quite.

I don’t think duckduckgo .com does synonym searches.

Here’s a guide to using quotes to force literal string searches on Google:

For your example, if you want sites that contain both the words “stop” and “go”, in any combination, and any related words are irrelevant, you enter the search terms:
“stop” “go”

If you want the specific phrase, “stop and go”, you enter:
“stop and go”

If you’re looking for the phrase “stop and go” in conjunction with traffic-related terms, you could start with:
“stop and go” traffic

If you want to eliminate results that include the word “traffic”, use:
“stop and go” -“traffic”

And from the same site, here’s a [PDF] cheat sheet of special operators you can use in your googling:

I’m aware of all that. But you’ll notice that the search string that I used in post 3 was not “stop go”.

Yes, but given what you did use, I wasn’t sure what you were trying to search for, so I offered a set of related examples. The Google search syntax no longer uses the + sign for forced literal strings. Were you looking for something that actually had a + in the string itself?

Actually, generalize that question: What were you trying to find? If the guide and examples didn’t help, maybe some aimed at the specific search you had in mind would.

Google ignores most punctuation unless it has a specific function. Which can be annoying.

Here’s a google example of poor searching. I type

Of the ten items returned by google, only the 8th item has all four terms. Four of the ten terms do not have the word “constructive” even though that term was enclosed in quotes.

I agree with the OP: Give me a search engine that works. And if I put the word in quotes, I’m looking for an exact match. (e.g. if I type Martha Stuart, don’t assume that I’ve misspelled Stewart)

However, this Stewart –Stuart thingy can come in handy sometime.

The reason why google does, what google does is, because a lot of people search as if they would ask a person, e.g. typing this into google: The movie Tom Hanks was stranded alone on an island
“Cast Away” comes up on top.

…or googleing google or gmail via - I am NOT joking - this happens a lot of times (working in a computershop with internet cafe).

But it’s irritating when I want to look up some German stuff from my Irish IP - google mostly wants to give me english results first and revert from back to .ie

I ran the search with each word separately enclosed in quotes like so:

“constructive” “receipt” “lottery” “massachusetts”

At least the first 20 results (which is as far as I looked) contained all four words.

The Stuart/Stewart thing is more of a nuisance, but I’ve found a trick that seems to work pretty well. In addition to the literal string name you’re looking for, break the name down and enclose each piece in quotes:

“Martha Stuart” “Martha” “Stuart”

You still get Martha Stewart stuff in the ad section, but the non-ad results will be for Martha Stuart. Enclosing an individual word in the quotes is slightly different from enclosing a phrase.

If you found 20 results with all four words, why were those choices not presented to me when I failed to put them in quotes? Getting back to the OP, if there are choices that do contain the words that I’m searching for, why don’t you give me those first?

Now, the results I get today are different than the results I obtained yesterday. While I appreciate google learning from its mistakes, the top-ten results today contain a substantial number of entries that I didn’t get yesterday. While the Internet is an ever-evolving place, things didn’t change that much in 24 hours.

Yeah, Google got better with contextual search, but then way worse when they decided to arbitrarily drop parts of your criteria 'cause they knew better.

Anyway, if you want to stay with Google, click “Search Tools”, then switch “All Results” to “Verbatim”.

Because the quotes around a single word are how you tell Google, “The results must contain this word.” If it can find any results that have all the words you mark with quotes, it will put them at the top.

Otherwise, Google will look for pages that contain any or all of the words, and factor the proportion of the words present into the pagerank it uses to sort the results. That means that a page that contains only half the words, but has ten times as many links to it as a page that contains all the words, may show up higher in the results than the page with all the words. Essentially, Google is looking at the page and saying, “Huh. This page has the words bizerta is looking for, but no one ever links to it, so it’s probably not a very useful page. I’ll put it on page 10 of the results–if they get that far, it probably means they’re looking for something this obscure.”

Google search will generally do what you want to do, but you have to know how to tell it that that’s what you want. By default, it makes its best guess as to what you want based on what lots of other users have wanted–highly linked pages with words related to the keywords they entered.

Quotation marks–among other things–are how you say, “Shut up, Google. I know what I’m doing.”


Though that would be a lot easier to find (I would almost certainly have discovered it for myself, long ago) if the “Search Tools” link was actually on the home page. It seems you have to do a search first just to get these options to appear. Google does seem sometimes to be going out of its way to make its more advanced features difficult to find. (And, of course, undocumented, or if there is any documentation that is even more difficult to find!).:mad:

Meanwhile, the stupid “I’m feeling lucky” button remains firmly in place. But heaven forbid they have a “Help” link on the home page. That would be too much clutter. :rolleyes: