In a strange twist of fate, it turns out that the AROUND operator in Google search has been operational for... oh... the past 5 or 6 years. Turns out that nobody ever bothered to write much about it.
What's odd about that is that nearly every librarian I've ever talked to about the clever uses of Google search has asked me about it...
And so today, I'm bringing it out of the closet.
AROUND is a real, working and useful search operator!
[ "Jerry Brown" AROUND(9) "tea party" ] will find you a bunch of hits illustrating the relationship between Jerry Brown (running for governor of California) and the Tea Party. (It's strained, at best.)
The AROUND operator is a handy trick to use when you're looking for a combination of search terms when one dominates the results, but you're interested in the relationship between two query terms.
NOTE: the AROUND(
Note also that if Google can't find anything within the limit, it will just do regular ranking of the terms without the AROUND coming into play.
Using AROUND is especially useful when the documents are rather long (think book-length articles). So try this operator in Google Books.... [ slavery AROUND(4) indigo ]
Do you have favorite examples where the AROUND operator helps on a difficult query?