Back when Google announced Google Plus, I laughed that the search engine giant named their new social networking platform something that their users can’t even search for, since the plus sign [+] is used as a way to define a search string. This meant when you tried to search for [Google +] in Google, you might not actually find “Google Plus”.
Well, they announced that they will fix that problem, by actually dropping the use of the plus sign as a search operator.
Before, you could search for something like
and you’d get results that were about relocation, but only those with Missoula in the results.
Now, when I do that search it tells me:
The + operator has been replaced.
To search for an exact word or phrase, use double quotation marks: relocation “missoula”
I guess this works the same, but to me it seems slightly different. I always felt the plus sign meant “show me ONLY those results with that word in the results”, while Quotes meant “Show me these two words together, as in “firstname lastname”. While I suspect the latter still works the same way, which is good, since Google our own names is something I’m sure we all love to do. One guy even made it into a Documentary called “Google Me“.
I have a lot of Google Alerts set up that use the plus sign. But I guess I have to spend some time changing those now since Google had to change this core part of search… Do you think it’s because they want people to find Google Plus?
What if every time we use the plus sign in a search from here on out, they just show us Google Plus as the top result.
Well, they make the rules…
So if you’d like to get better results from your searches, I recommend you spend a few minutes studying up on the various tricks you can use in your search queries.