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According to Google Basic search help

Generally, most punctuation and special characters are ignored, however there is a growing list of punctuation and symbols that are recognized in searches.

How are the symbols not mentioned in that list handled? I thought that the search is the same as if they were replaced by space, but experimenting with some search queries suggest that this is not true. For example, "x^x" integral returns completely different results than "x x" integral. (And the first query gives several results that contain the character ^.)

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Are you interested in '^' specifically or every other special character? I think the answer varies. – batpigandme Jun 11 '13 at 9:33
Personally I am mostly interested in symbols which might be used when searching for mathematical expressions; but let's keep this question general (and consider the example with ^ only as an illustration of the more general thing). If needed, I can still post a follow-up question about something more specific. – Martin Jun 11 '13 at 9:35
There's an interesting thread about this on SO including reference to the specific situation you referred to… – batpigandme Jun 11 '13 at 11:20

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