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

Matt Chamberlain chamberlain2007 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 17 11:39:45 AST 2011

This is particularly important when searching for code, for example:

Searching #!/bin/perl could be handy, but "bin perl" is much less so.

On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 11:37 AM, Michael Hannon <mhannon at dal.ca> wrote:

> 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.
> So,
> "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
> effectively.
> +"12/11/2005"
> 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!
> Regards,
> - Mike H
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-Matt Chamberlain
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