From time to time, I make the occasional language course on Memrise. One of the things I want to start adding to my courses are videos from the "real world" that contain some of the words in the course because I personally find this extra exposure to the word(s) to be hugely beneficial to the learning process. I know Google's Advanced Search can be used to search by format (e.g., image, video, etc.) and by domain (e.g., www.youtube.com), but the results have been less than optimal. Using my most recent attempt as an example, I wanted to find a video that contained as many of the following words as possible:

дороже легче тише моложе богаче чище ближе больше выше глубже дальше дешевле короче меньше ниже хуже реже слаще старше старее тоньше уже лучше худее шире длиннее беднее милее интереснее позже

I used a "look for any of these words" type of search (the kind separated by the "OR" operator). Below is a screenshot of what was returned for me after filtering this search to return just videos:

The return puzzles me a bit and makes me wonder what causes certain videos to "float to the top." Clearly, there's got to be a better match for what it is I'm looking for. I tried the search using an "all of these words" type of search, but that returned absolutely nothing for me. I also just tried typing these into the regular Google search field, with and without quotation marks, but nothing was returned for either of these searches.

Is there some way of searching for videos (or anything else for that matter) and getting some idea of the relevance return? In other words, is there some search engine out there that can tell me something like ...

... of the 30 words you searched for 10 of them are found in this video.

Even better, it would list which words were found. At this point, however, I'd be grateful for any search that could just return more relevant searches for me. A music video that contains just a couple of the words repeated over and over doesn't serve my needs all that well and makes me think that it got to the top due to some sort of search engine optimization based on some sort of popularity algorithm. I don't need something that's popular. I need something that is truly relevant. Any suggestions or ideas for me?

1 Answer 1


First, Google ignores common words and more than a certain number of search terms (10, I believe), so don't expect to find all in a list of 30. It's "attitude" is TL;DR.

Second, use quotes to force (well, strongly hint) that the words go together. E.G., searching on baltic war shows *Balkan Wars" as the first item, but the results for "baltic war starts with 1634: The Baltic War. Precede the quote with a plus (+) sign to hint more strongly. This way ou might find a phrase.

Third, Google places its own videos higher on the list: you're more likely to find something YouTube than from Vimeo.

Fourth, there are other parameters you might use, such as lr=lang_ru for Russian. Google specifies other parameters, as well.

Fifth, try another search engine, such as DuckDuckGo. It might not be any better than Google, but at least it should provide a different result set.

Finally, consider how time-consuming a maximized search for 30 words would be: it would require creating one tree for all 30 words, 30 trees of 29 words each if the full 30 could not be found (i.e. one word missing in each tree), 870 trees with 2 possible words missing and so forth. The number of separate searches would be 30!, ~2.65*10^32.

  • I really enjoyed reading your answer and learned some things from it I didn't know before. As for the time-consuming part, I see what you're saying, but I believe strongly that if one's imagination can dream it up, it's just a matter of time before it can become a reality. The development of the telephone, airplane, and rocket ship to space are just some examples. Heck, we used to heat our homes with fire and since then we've used coal, electricity, and gas.
    – Lisa Beck
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 2:55
  • Regardless, sometimes it takes a while to go from imagination to functional reality and it sounds as if you're saying there's no real easy way to do this kind of search. Nevertheless, I’ll hold out for a bit longer to see if anyone has any different ideas. Though my needs for a search like this seem rather parochial, I can see a much wider application of this type of search.
    – Lisa Beck
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 2:55
  • Is it not too unlike those programs that can tell you if a doc has been plagiarized? If it can be done for programs like that, why isn’t there a way to have this applied to vid. I’d think that p/h part of the problem is that the content hasn’t been transcribed into a format that can be searched w/text. Still, I think about all those transcripts of vids out there. C-SPAN vids come to mind. P/h depth/breadth of transcripted video that one can find in English just isn’t available in Russian yet.
    – Lisa Beck
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 2:56

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