back to article Google dumps + from Boolean search tool

Google has quietly dropped the use of the + symbol to link search items, in a move it says will simplify the process of Boolean searching. The + search operator, widely used in searches to confine results to a specific search term, has now been replaced with quotation marks. So, for example, the search Register +BOFH is now …


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  1. Char

    I've been using the quote searches for a while. It seems like it'd be less efficient, but only for searches <2 specific words. It's actually been quite the time-saver for searches for specific chunks of text. I don't see why they couldn't keep both methods, though.

    1. Mark 65

      Searches for specific chunks of text (i.e. phrases) have always worked best using quotes as that's what they were originally for. This change seems to muddy the waters.

      1. adfh
        Thumb Down

        Exactly.. What if I want to include a phrase in my search, but not require it?

        Before, if I wanted to include the phrase:

        "the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy brown dog"

        If I wanted to require the phrase:

        +"the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy brown dog"

        Now, how do I include but not require the phrase?

    2. Fuzz

      You're missing the distinction. When Google first started one of the things I liked about it was that all the search terms were included by default. Then about a year ago Google decided that they knew what they were searching for better than you did. First it was fairly useful stuff like searching for plural and non plural search terms, searching for UK and US English spellings of words. Then they started including roots of words, you search for playing, you get results for play, and synonyms.

      Now Google just drops words from your query if they make the results too limited. When I use + in my searches I'm not trying to find an exact phrase. I just want to see all the pages that contain every one of those words.

      1. borkbork

        @fuzz : exactly

        When they went from doing an AND search to an OR search the + (or "", now) became necessary. If they'd left well-enough alone there would never have been a problem. The early appeal of google was that all terms were included in the search, leading to fewer results. This is how a search engine should work. Randomly making search terms optional is a failure, if a term is optional (ie not specific enough) why would I bother typing it into the search box?

        Perhaps they need an "[] I am not a fscking idiot" checkbox on the settings page to revert it to the old behaviour.

      2. Tim Bates

        @Fuzz - totally agree

        I hate how Google has decided that what I type doesn't mean what I want to see. It works OK for plain text searches for questions. But when it comes to ANY technical search, it's plain stupid.

        I've had:

        * model numbers dropped so my search becomes simply "user manual" (making the results really pointless)

        * BSOD codes ignored so I can learn about different BSOD causes instead.

        * "Windows update error 0x1234abcd" (obviously with a real code and no quotes) once turned into both "windows update error" and "error 0x1234abcd" - because maybe I needed to check what Office uses that code for too, and also was having more general issues with Windows Update.

        1. BillG

          @Tim Bates - BING BING BING - you're right!

          I had the exact same problem when searching for Windows errors. My solution was obvious - I use Bing to search for Microsoft-related information. It was out of frustration that Google was not returning results that I wanted.

          For the past TWO WEEKS I noticed that the + sign didn't force Google to include terms I absolutely needed, but BING does! More and more I've been using Bing because it gives me better results.

  2. Piro Silver badge

    This is just silly

    Who would want less, simple obvious features?

    Google's search has been going down the pan for a while, getting more and more bloated, moving things around for no reason (you have to mouseover some arrows to get a page preview before you can even select "cached"!)

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge


      That explains it - I'd wondered what had happened to the cached results. I have to think that drunk monkeys have gotten into Google recently, just how does searching for [X "Y" "Z" -B] make more sense than [X +Y +Z -B]?

      I guess it's just one of the rules of computing ... everything, eventually, gathers cruft and slides downhill.

    2. Haku

      re: preview page

      I think they're trying to make things 'tablet friendly', and in so doing, pissing off everyone else who isn't "hip and trendy".

      I own computers with keyboards+mice and netbooks with keyboards+trackpads, I have no intention of getting a tablet.

      I wish web developers would STOP FORCING THIS CRAP ON US, not everyone wants this new and 'innovative' way of using webpages even on tablets I would imagine. eBay have done the same recently, testing on random users a new search layout which brings up a preview when you click the search plane, which is atrocious to use and look at on any interface system.

      1. DavCrav

        "I own computers with keyboards+mice and netbooks with keyboards+trackpads, I have no intention of getting a tablet."

        Don't you mean you own computers with "keyboards" "mice"?

    3. Cryo

      When Google was becoming popular a decade or so ago, one of the things that helped them stand out from many other sites was that they were using a clean, simple interface. Lately though, they've been adding all these dynamic features which just convolute the search process. Having search suggestions pop up while typing is a reasonably useful feature, but having the entire page repeatedly update to show the suggested results while typing is cumbersome and distracting. Clear the search field, and you get a blank page until you type something new. The same goes for having to load a preview image of a site to see links to cached and similar page links. Often, the preview images will pop up when just scrolling through the results. Having the search engine constantly assuming that I mistyped one search term in place of another, and sending me to the results for that other term is not particularly helpful either. Sometimes they don't even tell you that they replaced a word, but you see another similarly-spelled word highlighted in the results instead of what you typed, and eventually a small notice at the bottom of the results letting you know that they decided you really wanted to search for 'wood' when you typed 'woof'. Then, they customize results based on past searches, so your results for a particular search may be quite different from someone else's, or from one day to the next.

      For years, Google focused on providing search results in a simple, direct manner, and it worked well for them, as they've more or less become 'the' Internet search engine. Now though, they seem more interested in keeping up with the gimmicks of competitors who barely even compete against them, and in managing every aspect of one's Internet experience.

      1. Marvin the Martian

        And the asymmetry? What a horrible horrible choice.

        Nobody seems to object to the illogic of it all: + is a symmetric operator, in logic and maths of course --- [a + b] equals [b + a]. "" isn't even a known operator in those (quite familiar: logic-->computer language notations, maths-->GCSEs) fields, up to now used to define units that would otherwise be broken.

        It makes no sense whatsoever that [a "b"] equals [b "a"] (and certainly ["a b"] doesn't equal ["b a"]). I thought Google was stuffed with mathsy geeks.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Tip regarding Google unFeatures

          Keep them at bay with NoScript!

          I don't see any of that annoying crap...

  3. K. Adams


    That is all.

    1. Christoph
      Big Brother

      Or even ...


      1. Graham Marsden
        Big Brother


        Surely that's ++ungood :-)

      2. zb

        Did you mean "ungood"

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dammit I use this all the time.

    I will continue to use it as well, fuck the results

    1. atomic jam

      Thanks for that.

      Now for another +coffee to replace the one I spilled.

    2. defiler
      Thumb Up


      Yep - me too.

  5. Michael Habel

    As long...

    as I can use the - (Minus Sign), to weed out the garbage results I'm more or less ok with this.

    personally though I'm with the neigh sayers on this One though.

    Why replace an otherwise decently working standard, and replace it for something that expends more energy requiring that I use an additional keystroke, where as before I didn't have to.

    As for Google+ I think Google are underestimating their Users, after all Google pretty much is the web (or at least the search provider of choice).

    Shame that Altavista, Yahoo, and Co. seemed to have fallen by the wayside though.

    I wonder if anyone could out Google in the Search Biz, now that Google have seemed to move onto selling Ads, and Social Media services.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Coming soon

      Next month, to exclude search elements you'll need to stop using the - sign and start quoting them with accents so you be searching for [this "plus this" `but not this`]

      You KNOW it makes sense

      1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

        Congrats + "Well done sir" -"ROTFLMAO" -"ROFLOCOPTER" -"script-kiddie"

        Waiddaminit, wat?

      2. hplasm


        "Pluss Ziz" AND 'Not Dat' ?

    2. Steven Roper

      Yes, I like my minus sign

      Search: " web dev information I'm looking for" -buy -purchase -order -join -members -subscribe -vote -experts-exchange...

      Yep, the only way to actually find any useful information and avoid all the sharks and scammers trying to sell you shit flooding the first five pages of results with their SEO fuckery.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The - (not operator) hasn't worked properly in Google for a couple years now. Google's results still include things that have the (often blatently obvious) term included in them. Though it does seem to cut down on some of the crap at least.

      Not that the quotes work any better. Google loves to strip them off and search for the individual words anywhere in the document.

      I too am starting to wish for a real competitor to Google. I think I might just give Bing another try. Even Scroogle can't save Google when they screw up their search engine.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Michael Habel

      "Neigh sayers"? You mean horses?

      1. TeeCee Gold badge

        I think it's cos this one's produced so many long faces......

      2. TheRealRoland

        Or do you mean

        Horse whisperers?

        Mine's the one with the saddlebags

    5. Jaruzel

      I've always thought...

      ... that a 'front page only' search engine would be pretty cool.

      All it indexes is the text and links on your main page (i.e. the first one that appears when you go to a domain on it's own). I think this would make 90% of common searches SO much more accurate and useful.


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Jaruzel: How would a "front page only" search engine be of any use at all? How many sites do you know of that link to every single page on their site from the homepage, using relevant anchor text that would match all possible combinations of words that a user might use to search for that information?

    6. Anonymous Coward


      "I'm with the neigh sayers"

      You agree with horses or you currently reside in a stable?

    7. Blitterbug

      neigh sayers ?

      ...Stop horsing around!

    8. Hoagiebot

      Re: As long...

      "I wonder if anyone could out Google in the Search Biz, now that Google have seemed to move onto selling Ads, and Social Media services."


      Yeah really! How "cuil" would that be, right?

      Seriously though, no joke that I could ever come up with could ever top the joke that this so-called "Google Killer" company was:

      "Ex-Googlers reinvent web search"

    9. Mike Flugennock

      There's a reason for that...

      "Shame that Altavista, Yahoo, and Co. seemed to have fallen by the wayside though..."

      There's a reason for that. When Google first came along, it was the only search engine site that didn't require a whole separate page full of explanations of how to use the S00per Seekrit Magic Language to narrow down your search results. All I had to do with Google was go to Advanced Search, type in an exact phrase with maybe one or two related words, and bingo, a nice fistful of relevant search results.

      In spite of how evil and creepy they've become, Google's search still beats the others by a mile/km despite the bloat. I totally agree with the commenter who mentioned his hope that they don't eliminate the minus sign, which I use often for filtering out all the crap.

  6. Nexox Enigma

    lateral move at best

    For a long time you didn't need a + at all with Google, but now their search is so smart that they drop off important key words if they'd restrict your search too much, and you end up with generic crap. But to be fair, if you needed to use the +, there's a good chance you also needed to quote your term, to stop Google autocorrecting it to something unrelated.

    So what they've done is A) Break search so you needed to +"foo" everything, and then B) 'made it more efficient' by allowing you to just "foo" your search terms.

    I got so fed up with their search "intelligence" and the tendency to just find massive quantities of duplicate spam sites that I switched to *cringe* bing last week. It's at least 3% not as horrific to use as Google.

    And yet again, I wish the web could go back to 2002 or so, when it was more or less a document repository, and the advertisers hadn't quite figured it out yet.

    1. petur

      @Nexox Enigma

      I tried to use Bing for all my searches some time ago, and found it even less efficient. Google standards for searching went down, and Bing took an example?

      One point to make: if Google is less efficient than let's say 2 years ago, we got to take into account that the number of data also greatly increased (both webpages and datatypes that Google now supports)

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        @ petur

        More data? You mean crap like bigresource which might be tolerable if it listed one and had a "More like this" option, but no, it's a screenful of rubbish...

        And as others have been saying, stop looking for word roots. If I'm looking for "playing hanafuda", trust me that the results for "play hanafuda" are rather less relevant. Of course, maybe the people behind the search engine are as dumb as they think the users are? I actually want *fewer* PRECISE results, not a greater number of sort-of-maybe results. Is that too much to ask?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      i tried yahoo and bing

      and found that I didn't know how to find things, or their indexes sucked (i dont know which), so I went back to Google.

      I start every search with an expletive and "" every term. the expletive is to prevent google from reloading the ENTIRE page every time I type a letter, and the "" are to prevent google from choosing alternate forms (singular, plural, synonmys, etc).

      I bet if the advertiising groups were separated (using a machete if necessary) from the search group, things would get better for search.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's an idea: why doesn't The Register write an article on alternatives to google? There must some half decent search engines out there...

    1. Victor Ludorum
      Thumb Up

      Have you tried

      It takes results from Google, Yahoo and Bing.


    2. Piro Silver badge

      I'd read that

      Not a bad idea for an article.

      It's funny how things have come full circle. Originally, there were many, including directory based ones, and none were clear winners, although Yahoo! and Altavista were pretty damn popular. (Especially since the later could be accessed easily:

      Eventually, Google stood out and nobody has used anything else for years, apart from the odd person using MSN or Bing by accident because it was set as the default in IE. Now the idea of alternatives seems interesting.

  8. That's it man, game over man, game over!
    Thumb Down


    that's all I have to say about that.

  9. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    Oh great.

    dropping the + for ""? Great idea. It's not like the "" was already used for something else, such as, erm, searching for a verbatim expression. And it's not like the change doubles the number of keystrokes. Or is very unintuitive. Or all of the above.

    On second thought it won't matter terribly much, as carefully-crafted search strings are completely useless these days. No matter what you type, Google returns what some clever algorithm has decided you were looking for, as opposed to what you actually asked for. Certainly useful for 99% of the world 99% of the time, but quite annoying when you actually do know what you are doing.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      and for a while too

      Looking back at it, I have to think that Google search results have been going downhill for a while. It used to be that a complex search would throw something up on the first page but I'm finding that for non-intuitive searches it's usually on page two these days.

  10. Ralph B


    They seem to have dropped the "define:" tag too. Using "define:failure" used to present the definitions of the word "failure". Now it doesn't. It just presents the same results as for "failure" alone.

    My choice of example above might tell you what I think of _this_ change.

    1. Argh

      define: still works for me.

      1. Studley

        Still works for me too.

        They have, however, dropped support for the shorter "def:" which used to work just as well, I had to retrain my brain to use "define:" a few months back.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google Defaults are Wrong

    If I search for a term it should be the default that the returned pages have the terms on them. I don't think that's particularly unreasonable and I've found over the last six months or so that I'm entering more and more searches with quotes to the point where they'll soon be the majority.

    Why is Google getting WORSE as a search engine? Surely it should be getting better.

    1. TheRealRoland

      There's probably a trade-off there...

      Making Google Search Results worse, by making Google Ad Delivery on the results page better...

  12. Jason Togneri

    Alternatives to Google/moronic 'intelligent' autocorrections

    One alternative is to write a script to reformat the search or its results. I find the Greasemonkey scripting community to be handy for this. In terms of moronic autocorrections, I find this one works wonderfully: - it parses your original query, and only supplies the "Did you mean...?" as alternatives, not as the main results. Also instructions for modifying the Firefox search bar to do the same thing. It's worth searching for other scripts to handle any other new Google/Facebook/whatever functions that you don't like, the GM scripters are quite prolific.

  13. Flash_Penguin

    Yeah Reg! Find me the 2011 equivalent of Altavista circa 2002 when the web was actually searchable and not gamed so much the results are worthless.....

    PS As long as the rest use Google, as I have to game that to make some money...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More likely

    It is obviously not easier to use quoted string instead of +string and it is inconsistent with the OR and -string operations.

    Google knows a lot about language design and they wouldn't do something so obviously wrong unless they had a better (more lucrative) use in mind for +.

    My bet is that they will somehow use + in Google queries to link with Google+ entries and try and drive traffic from one to the other, or more likely both ways.

    1. nichobe
      Thumb Up

      Totally agree +Paul Turner 1

      I predict you will be able to soon search for anything you or any other Google+ member has =1'd right from the Google search page.......

      Search term:-

      Android iOS patent war +Paul Turner 1

  15. Mage Silver badge
    Big Brother


    Google are the new Evil Axis. Worse than MS ever was, who only wanted your money. Google wants your soul (Profile) and hopes to wreck your head so you don't notice.

    1. M Gale

      With the chief difference...

      ...if you don't like Google, you can try someone else. Erm, without having to ditch every other website on the Net.

      Try that with Windows and a software collection of any reasonable size. Good luck, let me know if you get CoD Black Ops working in Linux.

  16. Mage Silver badge

    Also degraded

    Since they decided to high rank all the sites you went to before. I want to find NEW sites with "that" content., I'm not looking for a Bookmarking service

  17. OziWan

    Uh oh!

    Marketing speak is sometimes so bizarre it is funny (even when like today it insults ones intelligence).

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It might be just one more character...

    ...but it could easily end up with more than just a couple more keystrokes to get to where you want to be.

    Imagine that you have already entered a set of search terms and you decide to try and force the inclusion of one. Once you've entered the first double quotes you have to keep on pressing the right key until you get to the end of the word you want to force to be included. It's irritating.

    1. Phil101

      Try Ctrl + Right

      Or should that be Ctrl "Right"?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    errr English fail?

    When I, and I suspect most people, put a single word in quotes it means that we don't actually mean what is written, I really "liked" that. Does not mean that I really liked that and, I wouldn't instantly connect such a "brilliant" idea to the notion of looking for that word specifically as a good thing.

    If I'm looking for a string then quotes make sense.

    TBH though I rarely use the + far more common to use the -

  20. jonoMT



  21. Gary F
    Thumb Down

    Well that was dumb

    After 15 years of implimenting + instead of quotes they now change their mind. The logic was that - (minus) means don't include this and + means definately do include this. To get rid of + is like ying losing its yang!

    I think it was done to reserve the + symbol for returning results related to Google+ or to just avoid confusion which, I'm sure, has actually added confusion.


    1. ElReg!comments!Pierre

      That's Yin...

      ... not ying.

      Still, the Google+ link is probably right, as «Paul Turner 1» wrote a few posts up.

      1. cordwainer 1

        GaryF was probably thinking of...

        "up the ying-yang"

        since any of the definitions of that phrase seem apt with regard to Google

  22. skeptical i
    Thumb Down

    +"effing stupid"

    Actually, given how superbrainysmart they all are at Google HQ, I'm kinda surprised that, back when they were cooking up their social thingamawidget, someone didn't say "Hey, ahh, don't people use a plus sign when they do searches? Could this get confusing?" But no, it's far far easier to take a fairly intuitive idea (+wanted -unwanted) and scrap it for something built by bureaucrats.

  23. cordwainer 1

    I'm finding Google almost unusable now...

    because it WON'T stop making substitutions! Instead of giving me what I very, very specifically searched for, using proper advanced operators, quotation marks, minuses, spells, a Boolean rabbit's foot and the "yes I DO mean "wombit" dammit!" command,

    Google STILL returns what it apparently believes is the correction of my "typos."

    "17,940,862,3467,803 results found for "wombat""

    And underneath, in teeny letters,

    "Click here if you really, really wanted to search for "wombit", but we don't believe there's any such thing, you're just pretending you meant to type that, neenerneener... "

    A flarkneling link I have to click, in order to do a SECOND search for WHAT I ASKED FOR IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!??????

    Sorry, let me try to put this succinctly and calmly:


    What the hell good is a search engine that flat-out refuses to accept the strings I enter, no matter WHAT they are? Between Google's obnoxious, condescending nagorithms and the #$$%^&*()TR%ing fascist behavior of defaulting to Instant and Semi-Safe Search every time I sensibly let the cache/cookies/crap get flushed down the drain at quit, I'm about to buy a ticket to Google Central and shoot one server per hour until they at least give me back my + sign.

    And why is there only beer here! I need a SCOTCH for heavens sake. Double. Neat. No, make it a triple.

    Hell, just give me the bottle.

    1. Emj

      Damn it - you owe me a keyboard!!

  24. 2-Part Return
    Thumb Down


    Damn. I was hoping that was temporary. Adding &nfpr=1 to the end of the search address seems to stop the spelling "correction" though, which is half the reason I used the plus in the first place. So that's something, whatever it stands for.

  25. ratfox

    Jeez, people get so intense

    Google replaces the + by "", and it's like the end of the world...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, it's obvious...

    Google won't search for [+ sign] because it knows you don't find [+ sign], he finds you.

    Or maybe it what [Chuck Noris] instead ? :-)))

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Never used it ...

    ... but I do use - OR and quotes.

    However, I will agree in the sentiment, why remove it at all? Just leave it in there - it's been part of search for a very long time.


  28. Jason Togneri

    @ Cordwainer 1, 2-Part Return, et al

    In Firefox at least, and presumably you can fiddle similarly with the config of other browsers:

    In the URL bar, type about:config. Locate keyword.URL and change its value to (or whatever other default domain you prefer).

    It's the nfpr=1 part of the URL which prevents Google from showing search results for keywords it *thinks* you intended to enter, and instead forces it to return your actual query as stated.


    @ AC, 24th October 2011 23:33

    "When I, and I suspect most people, put a single word in quotes it means that we don't actually mean what is written"

    English fail indeed - but unfortunately *your* fail, not theirs. Partial quotations are used in English to help paraphrase; check out the BBC's RSS feeds, they do it all the time (looking at it right now, I see things like: Syrians 'tortured' in hospitals; Writer hails 'genius' Steve Jobs). This means that a word or phrase was lifted directly from the original source and is a quotation from, rather than something the author has included by himself. While it "can" be used for varying types of emphasis, this is only where options such as italics are unavailable (such as in these comments) and really isn't the correct way to use it. Just because it's "common" on the internet doesn't make it in any way grammatically "correct". Go back to school.

    1. cordwainer 1
      Thumb Up

      @Jason Togneri

      Thank you :-) I hadn't run across that tip before & will definitely give it a try!

      p.s. you had to go and spoil a perfectly good grumpy mood, didn't you?


  29. Anonymous Coward

    Message to Google

    BOOLEAN is a standard you fuckwits...

    NOT Goolean....

  30. Tim Bates

    Dear Google...

    Dear Google,

    Please read all the above comments regarding your search engine.


    Your's sincerely

    Your customers.

    1. melt

      You are not Google's customer.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Dear "Customers"[1],

      We suspect you may be missing who owns our search engine and who's paying for it. If you don't like it, please try not to let the door hit your arse on the way out.

      Yours Sincerely,


      [1] In quotes because......oh fuck, our heads just exploded.

      1. M Gale

        As someone who has helped with more than one Adwords campaign...

        ...please put the + back.

        Now tell me I'm "not a customer".

        (or +not +a +customer, if you like)

  31. Zombieman


    +Google +"missing the point" +again ???

  32. Whitter

    "... only appears in links to this page."

    Fuck off.

    That is all.

  33. Jim 59


    The documentation says that all search terms are now included by default, ie. there is an implicit "+" (the old fashioned sort) in front of every term in your query. That seems to contracdict the email sent to the Reg.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Less time searching for [magazine +latina] more time not breaking established standards.

    This bodes well for DART, and explains the huge success of similar G-ventures.

  35. Wyccant

    "When I, and I suspect most people, put a single word in quotes it means that we don't actually mean what is written"

    -I think this may have lead to many years of not quite getting the point. Quote marks are, well, "Quotations" as in, word for word what was said/written. I've never come across this reversespeak usage before.

    and the rest of you should know by now that marketers define the universe. You "will" consume what you're told to consume, in the manner you are told to consume it.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge


      They're called "scare quotes".

  36. Steve the Cynic

    What I want...

    OK, I used to think that "search for exactly this word" *was* done with quotes, because that's something different to "definitely include this word (or its variants)", requested with, oh, I don't know, a + sign or something.

    But now (and for some time, apparently) these two functions have been merged together in a somewhat (bad word)ed way, and this is just changing the symbol used for this.

    And "an exact phrase" will find "an exact... ; - - - - - ../?, phrase", (punctuation and all). How do I stop it doing that?

    And why does the default search query not include the following items:

    * -kelkoo


    * -experts-exchange

    etc. When I am looking for hardware reviews, I don't want to see three pages of links to price comparison sites with no actual reviews of the interesting product on them.

    Google used to be good, now it's not. I guess that makes it evil or something... (joke)

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So how do I distinguish between

    "must include this term" and "use this term verbatim"?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is there a search engine with regex support?

  39. Chris Sake


    As searching with Google has become so crappy, I have been using a less-evil alternative: Blekko.

    See along with and (latter is blog of one of the founders, Rich Skrenta).

    A decent overview, "14 Facts about Blekko", is at

    It uses a smaller index of search pages than its arch-nemesis, but it does not include much of the spam and link-farm sites.

  40. detritus
    Thumb Down

    Aside from realising there was a door to close after the G+ nominative problem horse bolted, this is an absolutely and entirely incomprehensible decision.

    Absolutely stupid.

  41. Andrew Moore

    On the plus side...

    ...finally searches for C++ will work in Google. At long bloody last.

  42. Andrew Baines Silver badge

    Google to be as unpopular as Microsoft?

    Are google trying to become as unpopular as Microsoft? 'We changed this BECAUSE WE CAN', so go away.

    DuckDuckGo.Com still allows proper search stuff.

    Penguin cos it's as close as you've got to a duck.

  43. Jack Faust

    Fun search site - Duck Duck Go

    I'm quite a fan of Duck Duck Go, reminds me of Google in it's early days. You know, when it was good. The !bang syntax is kewl.... or

  44. James O'Brien
    Paris Hilton

    Cant believe no one caught this

    ".....The Register in an emailed statement. "So, if in the past you would have searched for [magazine +latina], you should now search for [magazine "latina"] to get the same results.""

    magazine "latina" now returns as one of the front page sites:

    *I think its safe but I didnt bother looking now Im going back to bed with the woman.

  45. JeffyPooh

    I'm guessing that Google+ hijacked the "+"

    Google+ stole the damn "+".

    What about Google Calculator? .... 2 "2" = 4 ??

    There's no Earthly reason why Google couldn't provide an 'All Of The Above' type solution. They could parse the +term into "term" all by themselves if they wish. Don't bother the humans with it.

    Stupid. Google should change their motto to: "Don't Be Stupid", and then live by it. Lately they've been quite stupid.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Google is getting a little full of itself....

    Granted, most people you meet would not know "Boolean" from "Bologna", but by now most of the internet-searching public has intuitively grasped that you want to search for world + dog instead of world "dog".

    Didn't people once accept Google as the search leader because their search was simple and intuitive? It sounds like Google is going down the road that MS embarked on when they made Vista, a PC operating system that was such a resource hog it would not run on 75% of the installed base of PCs.

  47. Terry Cloth

    Not feeling so lucky anymore

    When Google first appeared, I was blown away by the ``I'm feeling lucky'' button. Ten to twenty percent of the time I'd use it, and more often than not get what I wanted. I've been using it less and less in recent years. If I'm not alone, that should tell Google something.

  48. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    search: do +not +evil

    Did you mean "Do evil"?

  49. tekHedd

    They announced this?

    I figured this out by trial and error weeks and weeks ago. Google continues to find ways to make searches return more and more irrelevant results. I assume because 90% of the people on the internet can't spell.

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