An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to gostips@gmail.com.

October 2, 2010

Google Instant and Special Characters

Google usually ignores special characters from queries, so you can't search for :) or x^2. There are some exceptions: popular terms that include special characters (c#, c++).

Google Suggest is less smart than the search engine and doesn't offer relevant suggestions if you type c# books. Google ignores the hash sign and shows the suggestions for c books. To find results for your query, you need to press Enter or to select the last item from the suggestion list.


Another example: type $1 and Google shows suggestions for 1. Instead of showing relevant results for the query, Google displays the search results for [1 corinthians 13].


Bing's suggestions are actually useful:



While Google Instant helps you type popular queries faster, sometimes it's slowing things down because it shows the results for a different query.

{ spotted by Sundararajan S. }

13 comments:

  1. 1 guy 1 cup is relevant to me

    ReplyDelete
  2. Google Code Search is better for those types of searches anyway. http://www.google.com/codesearch

    ReplyDelete
  3. Are there any Web search engines supporting special characters?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kurtextrem,

    No, Bing doesn't respect special characters (except only a few well-known combinations).

    http://img571.imageshack.us/img571/941/exactsearch01.png

    ReplyDelete
  5. I would have never noticed that, good looking.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for sharing, really helpfull

    ReplyDelete
  7. As we mentioned in a blog post on our website, "will people actually take the time to click the link to turn Google Instant off if they do not like it?" Personally, I gave it a chance for several weeks and did not like it as I tend to do specific long tail searches.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I really despise Google Instant's results sometimes; and its speed.

    It slows me down more than anything... does anybody know what I am talking about? That small lag when you start typing...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Is there any way to identify Instant searches in the query string?
    thx

    ReplyDelete
  10. http://www.symbolhound.com respects special characters.
    [full disclosure: I am a developer for the site]

    Google ignores @#$%^&*()=+[]\, even in quotes, and codesearch is really only for searching source code. You can use SymbolHound to do a web search that includes characters.

    Hope that helps! Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I hope duckduckgo.com shows the search with special characters.You can try out.

    ReplyDelete