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How Google Works

If you aren’t interested in learning how Google creates the index and the database of documents that it accesses when processing a query, skip this description. I adapted the following overview from Chris Sherman and Gary Price’s wonderful description of How Search Engines Work in Chapter 2 of The Invisible Web (CyberAge Books, 2001).
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This page was last modified on: Friday February 2, 2007

Quotation Marks Replace the + Operator

Google elimiated the + operator in October 2011 and expanded the capabilities of the quotation marks (” ”) operator. In addition to using this operator to search for an exact phrase, you can now add quotation marks around a single word to tell Google to match that word precisely. So, if in the past you would […]

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This page was last modified on: Sunday February 26, 2012

Interpreting Your Query

Understanding how Google treats your search terms will help you devise effective queries and revise ineffective ones.
1. All Search Terms Count

Google returns only pages that match all your search terms.

A search for [ compact fold-up bicycle ] finds pages containing the words “compact” and “fold-up” and “bicycle.” Because you don’t need to include the word AND between your […]

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This page was last modified on: Sunday February 26, 2012

Selecting Search Terms

The search terms you enter and the order in which you enter them affect both the order and pages that appear in your search results. In the examples below, click on the similar ways of specifying various searches and note how the results differ.
For simplicity sake, this tutorial uses square brackets to denote Google’s search […]

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This page was last modified on: Sunday February 26, 2012



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By Nancy Blachman and Jerry Peek who aren't Google employees. For permission to copy & create derivative works, visit Google Guide's Creative Commons License webpage.

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