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How do I force including a word in Google search if the plus (+) operator doesn't work anymore?

Here's an example search.

+("os x" OR "osx") +temperature +(console OR "command line")

I expected it to return pages that must contain:

  1. The word 'temperature' AND
  2. Either the word 'osx', or 'os x' (or both) AND
  3. Either the word 'console', or the phrase 'command line' (or both).

The first page of results do not have the word "temperature" in. (That is, every link on Google's first page does not have the word "temperature".)

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migrated from superuser.com Oct 1 '11 at 19:46

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

4 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

+ is no longer used to mean "take this term exactly". If you do the following search:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=869&q=hacker+%2Bnews&oq=hacker+%2Bnews

you'll see the following at the top of the search:

The + operator has been replaced.
To search for an exact word or phrase, use double quotation marks: hacker "news"

You just need quotes for the exact term.

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I think you have your syntax slightly wrong - try this instead:

+["os x" OR "osx"] +temperature +["console" OR "command line"]

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Google sometimes has glitches. Try giving them feedback, and trying the search again a few days later. The search query provided in OP is now working.

The Google help page says:

Generally, punctuation is ignored, including @#$%^&*()=+[]\ and other special characters.

But there are exceptions to this.

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Yes, Google recently retired the + search operator to make room for new social features for Google+.

But, you can now search using Google's newly released 'verbatim' search option:

With the verbatim tool on, we’ll use the literal words you entered without making normal improvements such as

  • making automatic spelling corrections
  • personalizing your search by using information such as sites you’ve visited before
  • including synonyms of your search terms (matching “car” when you search [automotive])
  • finding results that match similar terms to those in your query (finding results related to “floral delivery” when you search [flower shops])
  • searching for words with the same stem like “running” when you’ve typed [run]
  • making some of your terms optional, like “circa” in [the scarecrow circa 1963]

This also works for the plus operator.

Google's blog post on verbatim search

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