How To Google Your Exact Words

Google has been making lots of tweaks to its search lately. Search is why we all came to Google in the first place, but these days it’s taking the product we knew and loved in a different direction. It’s changing the way queries work, turning “+” into a social search instead of an “and,” and it’s taking away chronological features in favor of what’s hot right now.

In response to user feedback about the changes, Google gave us a new feature this week called “verbatim search.” In its blog post, the Google search team warns that verbatim mode will take away all kinds of helpful things they’ve built for us. But users wanted a way to search for exactly what they want, and Google has built it. Here’s what it does and how to use it.

To understand how different verbatim search is, it’s important to know what features of Google search it turns off:

  • You won’t get spelling corrections.
  • It won’t personalize your results with Web history or social stuff.
  • It won’t include synonyms or related terms (like “automobile” if you search for “car”).
  • It won’t search for words with the same stem (like “dancer” if you search “dance”).
  • And it won’t be able to understand clarifying optional terms like “circa” in “Roosevelt speeches circa 1939.”

In other words, Google’s serious when they say verbatim search looks for your exact words. If you have a specific query you’d like to search for verbatim, here’s how you do it:

Get to a search results page:Note the corrected “RWW” acronym

On the bottom of the left sidebar, click ‘Show search tools:’

Then scroll way, way down and click ‘Verbatim:’Note that the incorrect “RRW” acronym gets used all the time ;^)

Do you like this new verbatim feature? Let us know in the comments.

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