While running a training search today I stumbled across a use for the + operator in Google I’d completely forgotten about.
Normally when I’m running a search theory session, I’ll focus on how adding a + to a search term will prevent Google from automatically stemming that term, which can be useful if you are interested in a certain word occurring in a certain case (also useful for when you’re looking for a surname, which also happens to be a common everyday word – and so preventing Google from conjugating your term).
But today during a practical excercise, I was reminded of another search need it can be applied well to.
Say you are interested in finding out what the Home Secretary’s upcoming schedule (or diary, or appointments or etc.) are. You might like to try the following search:
See the cached page for the first result (from the home office), and consider how irritating it is to be told:
These search terms are highlighted: home secretary These terms only appear in links pointing to this page: schedule
So, to stop Google fobbing you off with search results that don’t feature all the words you’ve searched for (as above), just put the + sign before any term you want to ensure appears in your results, like this: