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Sometimes I may prefer results that have a certain term:

resize image bookmarklet +chrome

In this example, I want a bookmarklet to resize images. Preferably, I want one that works in chrome, however the term "chrome" isn't required... it's just "nice to have."

Other times I want to exclude a word:

Apple contact sync -iPhone

Here I'm looking for a way to sync contacts but not to the iPhone.

The problem with this query is that it will exclude all pages that have the word "iPhone" anywhere. Now, imagine a blog or site has the exact information I want, but it's excluded from the results since it has a "links" side bar which has the word "iPhone" in it. Basically I want the main content of the page to not include the word "iPhone", or even if it does, to not be the main focus of the content.

Update:

Here's an example you can try it out on:

(I'll try to find better examples... if you can think of any please let me know.)

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2  
nice question oO –  phwd Jul 2 '10 at 18:21
3  
+1 great expert question –  Michael Pryor Jul 2 '10 at 20:09

6 Answers 6

Google's advanced search allows for ORs or to NOT include a word or phrase. Just click "Advance Search" next to the search bar or go to: http://www.google.com/advanced_search

Google also allows the use of - to exclude words, * for wildcard, + for exact words, and the OR operator. They have more information about these items here.

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The NOT will simply add a - to the terms you provide, so it will have the same problems I posted above. The only way I could see OR working is something like (browser OR chrome), but even then I'm guessing that there is no way to specify which one of the words has more weight. –  Senseful Jul 2 '10 at 18:37

I do not have a site to test it on but if you can supply one that would be great

You can try

allinbody:iphone

This should search only the text of the page.

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Doh ! This searches for it, I am not sure if you can negate it !! :( –  phwd Jul 2 '10 at 18:42
    
I'll try to find a good example. But meanwhile, when I enter allinbody:apple, I get only 10 results... it doesn't look like a search operator. –  Senseful Jul 2 '10 at 18:42
    
There should be space between the colon and apple I will edit mine now. Sorry about that :( –  phwd Jul 2 '10 at 18:43
    
Still only gives 298 results. It might be a Google News feature only. –  Senseful Jul 2 '10 at 18:45
    
It also depends where you are using I spend most of my time in advanced search (for research) without advanced it should be allintext: apple –  phwd Jul 2 '10 at 18:45

You would need to do an OR search:

(resize image bookmarklet chrome) OR (resize image bookmarklet)

This will return results with and without chrome that contains the other items listed.

Same goes for exclusion:

(Apple contact sync -iPhone) OR (Apple contact sync)

UPDATE

In what I was testing, and maybe it was just a coincidence, the pages that matched both of the OR'd statements make up higher. In effect, this will return results that DONT have chrome, but only after the ones that have chrome.

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1  
Actually, I don't think either of those queries would work. For example, "(resize image bookmarklet)" also contains "chrome", so you're really asking for a subset of the set you're already getting. Same with the "-iphone" query. –  Michael Todd Jul 2 '10 at 19:20
    
The negation works if the negated term is first: google.com/…. Otherwise it doesn't: google.com/…. What about giving more weight to one of the terms though? –  Senseful Jul 2 '10 at 19:26
    
'(resize image bookmarklet chrome) OR (resize image bookmarklet)' gives the same results as: 'resize image bookmarklet chrome OR resize image bookmarklet' as parenthesis are not supported. –  pelms Jul 2 '10 at 20:39
    
@pelms, Yes, I was adding the parenthesis for emphasis, as it doesn't effect the query. In what I was testing, and maybe it was just a coincidence, the pages that matched both of the OR'd statements make up higher. In effect, this will return results that DONT have chrome, but only after the ones that have chrome. –  Mike Sherov Jul 2 '10 at 21:50

Doesn't really look that way. Basic search help says that "Every word matters. Generally, all the words you put in the query will be used." Nothing there or in More search help gives any indication that you can give more or less weight to any term beyond "always include" or "always exclude".

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Weirdly, it seems that by simply repeating words in the Google search box it will give more weight to them (or at least look for more instances of them on the page).

Try:
elephant galaxy calculator netball
compared with:
elephant galaxy calculator calculator netball

So, you could try:
resize resize image image bookmarklet bookmarklet chrome

'Google Hacks (2003 version)' - see the section 'Repetition matters' - suggests that Google looks for at least the number of instances of a keyword that you supply.

Also, the order of words in the query makes a difference...
Compare:
resize image bookmarklet chrome
to:
chrome resize image bookmarklet
the latter seems to give more emphasis to 'chrome' in the results.

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1  
I didn't know that repetion mattered, so great tip! –  Ivo Flipse Jul 3 '10 at 20:59
26  
When I search for "elephant galaxy calculator calculator netball", this page comes up first. –  Maxim Zaslavsky Jul 9 '10 at 19:04
    
@MaximZaslavsky - I've now filtered stackexchange.com from the search results (only took me 3 years :¬) –  pelms Dec 20 '13 at 11:21

2 years later... I'm also searching for this. The idea that you could do something along the lines of:

resize (+1.0) image (+.8) bookmarklet (+.8) chrome (+.2) 

when typing into google. @Pelms has a nice hack, but ultimately it isn't really about frequency of appearance.

the good news? https://developers.google.com/custom-search/docs/ranking#labels

the bad news? that is for creating a custom Google search engine for your site...

hopefully it will soon be implemented for their general search

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