One of my favourite information professionals, Mary Ellen Bates, recently tweeted a short tip for more accurate searching in Google:
Just discovered the Verbatim feature in #Google, in results page. It disables all stemming, spell-checking for all search terms. Handy!
— Mary Ellen Bates (@mebs) August 30, 2012
Although this feature has been around for almost a year, it was new to me too, and I love it. Sometimes I am a horribly sloppy typist, but because Google is getting so good at interpreting what my mangled words were intended to be, it almost doesn’t matter. But I pride myself on being a lean, mean, searching machine (when I want to be), so there are times that I want to get results that are based on exactly what I’ve searched for. Verbatim is perfect for that.
According to Google’s announcement, when you search in Verbatim, they will not make any of the following “normal improvements” to your query:
- making automatic spelling corrections
- personalizing your search by using information such as sites you’ve visited before
- including synonyms of your search terms (matching “car” when you search [automotive])
- finding results that match similar terms to those in your query (finding results related to “floral delivery” when you search [flower shops])
- searching for words with the same stem like “running” when you’ve typed [run]
- making some of your terms optional, like “circa” in [the scarecrow circa 1963]
To search in Verbatim mode, when in your search results, click “Show search tools”, then click “Verbatim” under “All results”.