[nSLUG] Google poisoning (Was: KDE 3.x on Squeeze - Trinity anyone?)

Michael Hannon mhannon at dal.ca
Thu Feb 17 11:37:59 AST 2011

Mike Spencer wrote:
> Michael Hannon<mhannon at dal.ca>  wrote:
>>   Mike Spencer wrote:
>>> But wait!  Our target uses a unique spelling or lexical construct, so
>>> we'll search that!  But google kindly fixes if for you (because you
>>> obviously have made a mistake) and delivers the haystack.  Ho hum.
>> On that front, you can put a '+' before your search term to force
>> google to search whatever spelling you used (eg '+toshieba' searches
>> for 'toshieba', while 'toshieba' searches for 'toshiba').
> Didn't know that.  I routinely use a local copy of the "advanced
> search" page and put anything like that in the "with the exact phrase"
> pane or use double quotes in the "with all of the words" pane.
> My gripe was the neither of these enforces exact matching in the way
> you say '+' does.
> Thanks,
> - Mike

Sorry for staying somewhat off-topic (I feel I should have changed the 
subject line to re: Google oddities [was: google poisoning [was: kde 3.x 
on Squeeze]] )

I've run into problem like that before with phrases. Using double-quotes 
around a single word seems to be the same as putting a '+' before it, 
but when double-quotes enclose more than one word, Google sometimes 
still modifies the query.

"The quick brownfox jumps over the lazy dog"
actually searches for
"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog"

But, if you use both the double-quotes and the '+', it (should) only 
search for the phrase you want it to, eg:
+"The quick brownfox jumps over the lazy dog"

One thing I haven't cracked is how to search for numbers and symbols 
doesn't behave as expected - some of the results it returns are 
12-11-2005 rather than 12/11/2005.

Google Help somewhat helpfully notes that 'Generally, punctuation is 
ignored, including @#$%^&*()=+[]\ and other special characters.' But I 
really wish we could just escape punctuation with a '\' or something!

- Mike H

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