How do you search searches that include Google functional characters, like

  • -
  • *
  • "

on Google?

For example, how would one search for "Hello World" with the quotes included into the search?

  • Related: stackoverflow.com/questions/4685615/… – allquixotic Mar 18 '15 at 1:38
  • There are two issues. One is getting the character recognized in the search string, the other is using it. Since the characters are not indexed, there would be nothing to find even if you found a way to get Google to incorporate it into the search string. – fixer1234 Mar 18 '15 at 5:27

The general answer from Google is that you can't get Google to recognize symbols as literals in a search. There are a few special things symbols are used for (e.g. - to negate a word) and other than that they're ignored. It's unfortunate, but that's what seems to be for most search engines. SymbolHound is a search engine designed to fix this problem, but it seems to have an extremely limited search set.

It seems that searching using symbols is a problem that is largely not dealt with, which is unfortunate for those of us who need to include symbols in our search queries on a regular basis.

  • wow - I wouldn't have thought that is not possible to escape special/functional chars on Google! – Anupam Nov 22 '19 at 13:40

I found a mention of one method from this stackoverflow question. I tested it and it only sort of works. For instance with " or the HTML code " it works while other codes such as the * or HTML code * will not. Not sure how google decides this but there are other web search engines that allow for characters.

Here are some other web engines that do allow them:

  • yahoo
  • bing
  • duckduckgo

and I assume many more.

StackOverflow Source: Looking for special characters in Google

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