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It's a little meta...

.. But how do I "properly" search for something like Visual C++ Executable Stack on Google?
(See below for an illustration of the problem.)

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You reached an edge case, there is not much you can do other than exclude Stack Overflow from the search -site:. Search all other sites and then search with Stack Overflow instead. No combination of searches can help this.

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There are no right or wrong answers here - the quality of the search results is subjective. However, you can choose to follow some tips available in search guides (like this one from Google):

  1. Phrase search ("") - wrap an exact phrases with double quotes (e.g., Visual C++ "Executable Stack")
  2. Search single word exactly as is ("") - double quotes around a single word to avoid synonyms
  3. Search within a specific website (site:) - restrict searches to one site (e.g., Visual C++ "Executable Stack" site:msdn.com)
  4. Terms you want to exclude (-) - you can remove "Overflow" (e.g., Visual C++ "Executable Stack" -overflow)

There are other examples in the guide if you're interested in further refining your search results.

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Thanks for the ideas. Just a note though: I can't really exclude "overflow", because then that would mean I wouldn't get results from Stack Overflow, which is not what I want... – Mehrdad Feb 29 '12 at 19:35
Understood - just using it as an example. :) – JW8 Feb 29 '12 at 19:42

It's a little bit unclear, but I don't see any problems with the results. If you're using double quotes (") Google will include that term as is. Except there are other symbols in between if the query contains more than one word.

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The trouble is that Executable Stack is matching ... executable? - Stack Overflow even though the topic is pretty irrelevant :\ – Mehrdad Feb 29 '12 at 19:33

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