Get What You Ask For with Google Verbatim Search

Google removed the + operator (used to require a specific term or phrase) recently, replacing it with using quotations.  I wasn’t sure it was an improvement, but Google has more than made up for it.  They have enabled verbatim search which will do the same thing.

For example, if you type in parole evidence (my favorite!), Google will automatically convert that to parol without the -e on the end.  Notice that it will fix it but allow you to rerun your search as originally typed:

Google Fixes Parole Evidence to Parol Evidence
Google Fixes Parole Evidence to Parol Evidence

This can be a huge help because you may have a misspelling – or your spelling may not the more common version.  But you can also force Google to take your search query as a verbatim, word-for-word.

Scroll down the left side of your Google results page.  The first set of links allows you to focus by time (Any time, past hour, …).  The second set now has a link called Verbatim.  Click it and then run your search again to have it treat your words exactly as they are spelled:

A misspelled Google search on parole evidence using verbatim search
A misspelled Google search on parole evidence using verbatim search

In this case, parole remains misspelled with an -e on the end.  Google inserts a did you mean suggestion in case you do have a spelling error.  But it means you can run a term of art or other phrase or piece of legalese without it being corrected.

Here is more from Google’s help file on using verbatim, and their announcement.  I had to laugh, though when I saw that the + operator, as much as I loved it and recommended it, was almost never used properly – only .17% of the time, according to Techcrunch.  So perhaps its disappearance was less significant than it might have been, but hopefully verbatim will fill that gap.