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Punctuation at Google and Minor Site Updates

Usually, search engines will replace all punctuation marks with a space when they index Web pages. And if you use a punctuation mark between words in a query, the search becomes a phrase search. In other words, a search on import-export is the same as "import export". However, Google has a couple exceptions to this rule for two characters: the ampersand & and the underscore _. Both can be searched by themselves or as part of a character string. In other words, a search on adv_search gets different results than "adv search" and &tc differs from tc. And for programmers, while it would not search # or + in most cases, it does
differentiate c#, c++, c+, and c. It does not, however, differentiate c*, c+@, or c+-, interpreting c* as c and both c+- and c+@ as c+. Other punctuation marks may change the sorting of results. So Google does some different treatment of punctuation marks, and it has changed over time as well.

I've updated the "unique" section of my Google Review. I also updated the site search page by finally removing the defunct Northern Light search box and the defunct xrefer search box. I also updated the Reference Search Tools page.

By Greg R. Notess. Dated Oct 1, 2003 in Google | Site Updates

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