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Tilde Tricks at Google

Google's expanded synonym operator, the tilde (which must be right before the word with no space as in ~cancer), can be used in some interesting ways. Garrett French's "The Link Prospector's Guide to the Tilde" from yesterday gives several ideas of use from an SEO (search engine optimization) perspective.

To review, unless using Google's verbatim search function (in the left side bar) or putting all search terms and phrases in quote marks, Google will search for the term entered plus grammatical variants and some synonyms.Google Synonym Example For example, searching art teaching statistic finds results with matches on words that were not entered like teachers, education, statistics, arts. Adding the tilde in front of a term makes Google look for even more synonyms. Changing the search to ~art teaching statistic also finds more synonyms for art including gallery and design.

It is not always easy to see the differences since exact matches may rise to the top, but some of French's ideas make it easier. He notes that you can use the ~ along with field prefixes like inurl: and intitle:. Since both titles and URLs are visible in the search results, it can help to see the synonyms, especially if you also NOT out the actual term. For example, intitle:~cancer -intitle:cancer shows that the synonyms include disease, leukemia, pain, and tumor.

By Greg R. Notess. Dated Mar 7, 2012 in Google

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