Advance Google Searching: Are You Making These Mistakes?

Blogger and academic librarian Aaron Tay, sheds helpful insight on common misconceptions about advance Google searching. Tay notes that searchers are not keeping up with Google’s rapid changes and are using operators and symbols that no longer exist, nor never worked. Tay states: “As I write this blog post in Oct 2015, what follows is some of the common errors and misconceptions I’ve seen about searching in Google while doing research on the topic… Of course by the time you read this post,  a lot is likely to be obsolete!”

The identified misconceptions are:

  • Using depreciated operators like  tilde (~) and plus (+) in search strings (as of June 2013, tilde (~), used for retrieving variations and related terms of the search term, no longer works, and the (+) plus operator, which matched the exact form of a search term, no longer works, as of Oct. 2011)
  • Believing that all terms in the search string will definitely be included (in some form)
  • Using AND in search strings works (AND is implied)
  • Using NOT in search strings works (use a dash in front of the search word or site)
  • Using asterisk (*) as a character wildcard or truncation in search strings works (In Google * serves as a placeholder)
  • Using parenthesis (  (    ) ) in search strings to control order of operators
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