Is there a way to do a real exact match in Google?

Quotes or plus do not make it exact.

I'm trying to search for the phrase "offset 0", but the results contain "offset: 0", which is not the same and not what I'm looking for.

I've encountered such a problem with many other queries, too.

3 Answers 3


Try Yandex. It's a Russian search engine providing the opportunity to search with an exact match as well as other options (for example searching a word by entering first X letters and leaving out last Y letters etc.). A useful article about searching in yandex: http://www.russiansearchtips.com/2015/04/yandex-ppc-match-type-operators-for-best-keyword-selection/

  • 2
    I'm upvoting this because it solves the root problem better than the way OP's question was phrased. The point is just to find specific info quickly, not to stay married to google. Please consider the specific application of the question before down-voting answers for relevance.
    – mopsyd
    Jun 23, 2016 at 15:04
  • To add a bit to this answer. You can use quotation marks to indicate words should go together and exclamation marks before a word to indicate you want an exact match. Example: "!offset: 0" Unfortunately it does not actually work with punctuation and so this is not an answer to the question! (whether you include the ! or not you will always end up looking for both offset: 0 and offset 0.
    – Kvothe
    Aug 23, 2018 at 15:10
  • I upvoted this too soon - I just tried and it didn't work any better than Google if anything worse. Am I using it wrong? I read the article it actually was not that helpful... yandex.com/search/?text=net.il the first results are already wrong...yandex.com/search/?text="net.il%22 - this search was a bit better but Google was still better. "[net.il]" did not work either and I do not know what else I can try... Mar 16, 2020 at 4:37
  • @Kvothe The OP wanted to omit the colon, not force it to be included.
    – Kenny83
    Oct 6, 2020 at 7:03
  • @Kenny83, okay so perhaps it accidentally worked in that exact case. However, the title reads differently and these questions are supposed to be useful for multiple users. So the question of the OP really is "Is there a way to do a real exact match" he then gives an example phrase and the answer by blind luck works for that exact example even though it does not do any exact search. It does not work for many other examples (for example not even for the related example of searching for "offset: 0"). nor for others see the comment above.
    – Kvothe
    Feb 10, 2021 at 18:37

In your particular case it doesn't look possible.

As Google Search Help says:

Generally, most punctuation and special characters are ignored...

While that bit is specifically about the search term, it also appears to apply to the index as well. It looks to me that Google doesn't store (or at least doesn't search) content that is punctuation.

Even using the verbatim tool doesn't help.

I even tried "offset 0" -"offset: 0" but the colon is ignored in the index.

Other search engines might do it differently, but I doubt it.

See also:

  • 1
    this is the first time that I want to use the downvote button as a dislike one. I don't understand, if Google doesn't count those operators, then what is the point to have them in the first place?
    – Ooker
    Jan 25, 2018 at 11:10
  • @Ooker Here, here! Perhaps we should voice our discontent to Google's feedback team, although I doubt they'd actually listen. Something else is far more important to them: the revenue generated from the ads they plaster all over your screen, as well as those within the search result pages that they hope you'll click on, even though they don't actually match your search. This kind of attitude from the "powers that be" (Google isn't the only one, not by far) is almost enough to make me throw my laptop into a wood chipper, then incinerate the pieces.
    – Kenny83
    Oct 6, 2020 at 7:08

Use search engine dedicated to this problem (exact match searching): http://symbolhound.com/?q=offset+0

Inspired by the answer from StackOverflow

  • Yet another useless suggestion. It's not your fault; SymbolHound certainly does work for the search phrase in the OP, but I've found it to be utterly useless for exact matching in the general case, hence the downvote. The lack of a search engine that both a) has the outreach of Google and b) works in the way that anyone with an IQ over 80 would expect, really makes me think that I should develop one. The first criterion would be the hardest (almost impossible) to meet though :-(
    – Kenny83
    Oct 6, 2020 at 6:59

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