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Simple question. How can I google for the exact phrase match?

Making a simple google of this, it says "use quotation marks".

Well I did that just now. I searched for this: "accuracy map" and I get a lot of results for map accuracy which is not what I am looking for.

Is there a way to google for the exact phrase with the exact order?

  • 2
    DuckDuckGo is much better about respecting quoted terms, IME. It might be worth a shot to try them in cases where you aren't able to trick Google into providing results for what you're searching on. – rurp Jul 27 at 21:53
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    Can't reproduce. When I search for "accuracy map", every result I see contains the string "accuracy map" (possibly with the space replaced by some punctuation). Yes, some of those results also contain "map accuracy", but then your question is how to exclude results containing some phrase, or possibly how to avoid punctuation in exact matches, which are different topics altogether. – NotThatGuy Jul 28 at 10:18
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    If you are indeed seeing results where "accuracy map" (the exact phrase) isn't included in the page title or excerpt at all (ignoring punctuation), can you post a screenshot? Note: the parts matching the search terms are usually bold. – NotThatGuy Jul 28 at 15:16
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    I also was unable to reproduce this. – user3067860 Jul 28 at 19:00
21

EDIT

Even better combining "both worlds"

""accuracy" "map"" - "map accuracy"

enter image description here


Your best bet to minimize to most relevant results is to use:

""accuracy" "map""

enter image description here

opposed to the by Google recommended

"accuracy map"

enter image description here

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  • 1
    This still returns rdocumentation.org/packages/popsom/versions/4.0.1/topics/… (for example) which doesn't contain the phrase. The closest match in the document is "accuracy of the map" (maybe Google ignores noise words, such as "of" or "the"). – Razvan Socol Jul 27 at 18:23
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    That’s great for a 2 word phrase, but for an $n$ word phrase the query has length $O(n^2)$ because we have to disallow every pair of words in the wrong order. Surely there’s a better way? – Adam Chalcraft Jul 27 at 18:49
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    What is the purpose with double quotations ""accuracy" "map""? – d-b Jul 28 at 9:34
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    @RazvanSocol That page contains "accuracy(map" as part of a code snippet map.accuracy(map, ...) which is what Google is matching on (based on that being what shows up bolded in the results). – user3067860 Jul 28 at 18:58
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    @Akh - the suggestion by stevec has a space after the dash/minus sign - remove that, e.g. "accuracy map" -"map accuracy" and you have the suggestion in my answer. – Michael Harvey Jul 29 at 16:45
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You can try the word or phrase you want, a space, then one or more things that you want to exclude, each of these prefixed with a minus sign, using quotes where necessary e.g.

jaguar -car

"accuracy map" -"map accuracy"

england -Wikipedia -BBC -football -"shielding and protecting" -"Visitors from EU countries"

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  • While the OP needs to clarify the actual question, your suggestion would (mostly) exclude a page that contained both phrases. ("Mostly" because the minus operator has not been absolute in my experience.) See comments by @stevec (essentially your answer) and findusl (essentially this comment) to marikamitsos answer. – BillR Jul 29 at 14:01
  • I kind of feel that if I see many more comments (in this thread altogether) I'll delete my damn answer as this is clearly a very controversial topic/. – Michael Harvey Jul 29 at 16:46
4

Verbatim setting

As well as using the double quotes, after searching click on the "Tools" button on the right under the search box.

You should see options for "Any country", "Any time", and "All results". Click the last one, and there's an option to change it to "Verbatim".

This should now only show results which contain exactly what you typed (although Google seem to go out of their way to show you what they think you want instead of what you ask for).

I've just tested it for "accuracy map" and it seems to work. But only for the organic search results - things like the "People also search for" box, and the related searches list don't seem to respect the "Verbatim" setting

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  • "it seems to work" - in which way does it seem to work? It's certainly reordering things, but it doesn't seem to do so in the way the asker wants. At the very least the top 3 results are just reordered for me, and 2 of those are still titled "map accuracy". But then again I don't think the question as asked is answerable. – NotThatGuy Jul 28 at 13:15
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    Regardless of the title of the result, it's only returning results for me where the page content includes "map" immediately followed by "accuracy" (when whitespace, punctuation, and formatting characters are ignored), as in the image I included which has the matched search term in bold. Which is what I'd expect it to do, and how search originally worked. I qualified it with "seems to" since I obviously can't confirm that it works in all cases. Updated answer with a link to an explanation of the verbatim option – Mohirl Jul 28 at 14:18
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    But is this different from how it usually works? Even without "Verbatim" I seem to only get results where the page content includes "map" immediately followed by "accuracy". At least on the first page or two, which is where most people stop looking. – NotThatGuy Jul 28 at 15:17
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    Without "verbatim" google also includes synonyms or close matches for your search terms. So you could end up with results for "map accurate" or "chart accuracy" if those were commonly used phrases. Not sure it makes a difference for the OPs particular example, but it's definitely helped me in the past when I wanted to force a match for the exact phrase I had typed. – Mohirl Jul 28 at 15:39
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    Verbatim doesn't really help with this. All it does is to turn off the correction of misspelled words. Google no longer tries to guess what you wanted to write when it sees something that it considers spelled wrong. – Gábor Jul 29 at 22:11
1

If you are looking for pages that talk about an "accuracy map", one option is to search for your phrase only in the titles using allintitle:"accuracy map". This will still see items with punctuation issues such as "accuracy (mAP)" but is more likely to find pages where "accuracy map" is important to the page, not just a random juxtaposition of words.

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1

A possibility which I have not seen in the current answers is the usage of the dot.

In addition with the quotation marks it should come close to your desired google result

"accuracy.map"
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0

Try the plus sign before your phrase, e.g.

+"accuracy map"

The comments suggest it shouldn't work, while it does for me. For me the top 5 results for the query are: enter image description here

Each of them has "accuracy" followed by "map" (some with some extra punctuation)

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    What exactly does + do? Do you have a reference for that? It seems like that operator might've been retired a few years ago (although +"accuracy map" and "accuracy map" returns different results, so maybe not). Also, when I search for this 2 of the top 3 results are still titled "map accuracy", which seems to not be what the asker wants. But then again I don't think the question as asked is answerable. – NotThatGuy Jul 28 at 13:18
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    That used to work, and then Google decided (around 2012?) that they would push everybody to Google+ (ask your parents), and so they repurposed the '+' character for their now-aborted social network. This was an inflection point, indicating that it was time to start finding replacements for Google. – JonathanZ supports MonicaC Jul 29 at 4:52
  • Oh. I didn't know it was retired. It practically works for me. The top 3 results in my search all contain "accuracy map" in one form or another. – Grzegorz Oledzki Jul 29 at 5:27
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    "Why was + removed as a search refining tool?" support.google.com/websearch/thread/13355219?hl=en Per bluecoll, "Google removed the "+" symbol as an exact match operator when Google+ was launched in 2011. The "+" symbol was needed in a Google+ context." (as @JonathanZ noted) – BillR Jul 29 at 13:44
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    Does anyone have more insight into what the PLUS (+) operator does now? As others have noted using PLUS does change the count and slightly changes my top ten and does not cause an error but with or without the PLUS all results on my first page contain the required phrase (ignoring symbols and capitalization) as does the example in the answer. – BillR Jul 29 at 14:24
0

I used to get around this by using dashes, which Google ignored as a character, but still prevented breaking up the phrase. This still work, but only in conjunction with the quotation mark (!!):

"accuracy-map"

This gives me pretty much the same results as Grzegorz Oledzki.

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