Thursday, April 9, 2009

How Google Interpret your query

This article describes how Google treats your search terms.

All Search Terms Count

Google returns only pages that match all your search terms.

For example a search for PR PLAN 2009 find pages containing the words “PR” and “PLAN” and “2009”.

This means Google adds implicit AND to the search query terms.

NOTE: Google sometimes returns pages that does not contains your query terms because Google returns pages in which your query terms are included in the link text to another page or place on the page.

Google also searches the metadata values set for a page (if any) with the query terms and if match found, the page is returned in search result.

Search Terms Match Exactly

Google returns pages that match your search terms exactly.

That means that Google simply matches string of characters together by putting and in between. It does not look for synonyms of words.

If you search for …Google won't find …
cheap inexpensive
effects influences
children kids

Stop Words

Some common words such as ‘the’, ‘a’, ‘an’, ‘on’, ‘where’, ‘this’, ‘is’, ‘when’ generally don’t add meaning to a search and are called Stop Words.

These words are omitted while performing the search.

For example if you search for ‘What to do for a student visa’, Google searches for terms ‘to’, ‘do’, ‘student’ and ‘visa’ ignoring ‘What’, ‘for’ , ‘a’.

Terms in Order
Google gives higher priority to pages that have the terms in the same order as in your query.

Consequently, you should enter search terms in the order in which you would expect to find them on the pages you're seeking. A search for [Microsoft latest technologies] gives priority to pages about Microsoft’s Latest Technologies.

Not Case-Sensitive

Google is not case-sensitive. It shows both upper- and lowercase results.
Ignoring case distinctions increases the number of results Google finds. A search for “Times Square” finds pages containing “Times Square”, “times square” or “TIMES Square”

Characters Ignored
Google ignores some punctuation and special characters, including

! ? , . ; [ ] @ / # < > .

For example Dr. Watson returns the same values as Dr Watson


A term with an apostrophe doesn’t match the term without an apostrophe.

For example, ‘we’er’ matches “we’er” but not “were” and vice versa.

Quoted Phrases

To search for a phrase, a proper name, or a set of words in a specific order, put them in double quotes.

A query with terms in quotes finds pages containing the exact quoted phrase.

For example, search term “White House” finds pages containing the phrase “White House” exactly.

NOTE: If you put stop words in between double quotes, Google will search for the phrase including those stop words.

1 comment:

Gitolekha said...

Very useful post. Thanks for sharing.