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Google "Around" operator?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, December 8, 2010
3 years ago4,667 views

Not sure, but Lifehacker says you can "Use the AROUND Operator in Google Searches for More Specific Results":
lifehacker.com/5707961/use-the ...

[Thanks Hans!]

George R [PersonRank 10]

3 years ago #

labnol.org/internet/google-aro ...

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

3 years ago #

This works for me, but not in conjunction with the "site:" operator. For example, I search for

bobbie7 AROUND(5) research

and the search results embolden the whole phrase between the two words, whether "bobbie7" or "research" comes first.

Most of these results are from my site at uclue.com, but if I change the search query to

site:uclue.com bobbie7 AROUND(5) research

then it no longer works. The "AROUND(5)" part is just ignored. Worse still, if I change the search query to

site:uclue.com bobbie7 around research

then most of the results don't even have the word "around" in them!

I guess this operator is for Google testing, and was introduced when Google started to give priority to search results where the search terms appeared close to each other. That seems to work fairly well nowadays, and if I'm searching for something like "blue whale", I often don't bother to type the doublequotes anymore.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

3 years ago #

Just use stars "*", it's exactly the same

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

3 years ago #

> Just use stars "*", it's exactly the same

The difference is that AROUND doesn't care which word comes first. When you use stars, the word before the star must appear first in the document.

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

3 years ago #

It's asterisk, not 'star'

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

3 years ago #

Well most online dictionaries seem to include the asterisk symbol as one of the meanings of 'star':

en.wiktionary.org/wiki/star
thefreedictionary.com/star

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

3 years ago #

Yes, from "nerd side" and related to technical instructions it's always asterisk :)

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

3 years ago #

[put at-character here]Juha-Matti: you think so?

In the nerd poem "Waka Waka Bang Splat" the asterisk is called "splat", because that's the sound it made when it was printed on a DecWriter dot matrix hardcopy terminal back in the 1970s. You have to read the poem aloud to appreciate it properly:
netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/90q3/wa ...

And in the nerd poem "Hatless Atlas" the asterisk is called "star". Again, it only works if you read it aloud:
netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/90q3/po ...

Juha-Matti Laurio [PersonRank 10]

3 years ago #

Thanks for a very deep point of view.
My reply was just a quick reply to emphasize a technical side.
Reading those poems later today!

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