Friday, November 18, 2011

Verbatim mode - Google without interpretation

Remember the ruckus about the + operator going away?

We knew about the issue, and this week Google has announced a new search mode that you might want to know about. 

Verbatim mode was announced on the Inside Search blog (a blog I recommend you read, actually, since most of the interesting announcements about new Google search features will appear there first).  

What's Verbatim search?  It's Google search without any synonymization, spell-correction, personalization or other interpretation.  That is, it's just a basic search without any alterations in what you typed into the query box.  To be clear, 99% of the time, those alterations actually improve your search results quite a bit.  But every so often you really want just what you typed.  Verbatim mode is for those situations.  

To turn on Verbatim, you first open the "More search tools" button on the left hand panel... 

That is, click on the bottom option, just below "Custom range..."    This will open up a new set of options below that point.  It should look like this: 

When you click on Verbatim, you'll put your subsequent searching into this hyper-literal mode.  

As we've discussed before, sometimes a search term seems so obviously misspelled (to Google) that it can't resist spell-correcting it for you.  

 But as you know, in this case we REALLY want to word to be unaffected by spell-correction or synonymization.  You already know that you can double-quote the word like this: 
 ... to get the Finnish folk music style that you were really searching for.  

Now, when would you use Verbatim?  
Whenever you want to do longer queries that you don't want altered at all.  
For instance, a multi-word query such as [ joiker music finland ], a trip to Verbatim mode might be exactly what you want.  Here's the query in default search mode: 
But you might want to search this in Verbatim, as below.  The first result is the same, but the next several results are somewhat different.  
Notice the blue bar at the top of the results.. that's how you know you're still in Verbatim mode.

The difference is probably easiest to see in a side-by-side like this.  Here I'm searching for "gyros":  
As you can see, the Verbatim mode search (on the right) gives a very different answer--one that's NOT localized or personalized.  

Hope you find this new tool useful!  Let me know how you like it!  

Search on. 

1 comment:

  1. This is handy to know about - I have been researching and learning about personalization and it is a great thing until you are trying to search for information about a new topic for someone else and then it jeopardizes you. PS. I am using the search challenge as a research method in my masters proposal on how key contributors/experts in VCoP facilitate search. :)