If I search on YouTube for e.g. a>b ("a greater than b") I get a message

An error occurred during validation.

What is it validating? What does this syntax do, if anything?

How can I search for something with a ">" in it?

1 Answer 1


The character > and < are special characters for HTML, which can be used with cross-site scripting. Thats why some website banned or filter these characters, and response with validation error. You cannot search these characters with Google too.

You can try search engine such as SymbolHound that supports special characters, although it is not working well with youtube at the moment.

  • Sorry, but it's implausible that Google, of all companies, can't handle basic HTML escaping. Especially since you can search e.g. & just fine.
    – user33419
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 12:43
  • Can you search < or > with google?
    – neo
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 14:09
  • For some definition of search (it "usefully" interprets them as greater than sign); regardless, it doesn't cause an error.
    – user33419
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 14:14
  • True. So youtube either has implemented it or we should wait for other expert to answer this question.
    – neo
    Commented Jan 24, 2013 at 14:17

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