Google searches and the plus sign

The Google search syntax accepts a plus sign in front of a search term. There are two situations where you might want to do this.

Firstly, a plus sign tells Google that you really truly honestly do want to search for a common term. A simple search for book a love returns mostly results that contain the more common phrase “Book of Love”.

Searching for book +a love fixes this; so does searching for “book a love” if you want the words to appear in that order – because common terms within a phrase are always matched.

A second use of the plus sign is to tell Google not to mess with your search term. A search for well yields a page cluttered with results for Wells Fargo, whereas these are absent from a search for +well.

The plus sign is not a search operator that I would use often, but just occasionally it’s a useful tool to get some unwanted entries off the search results list.

One Response to “Google searches and the plus sign”

  1. Richard says:

    Thanks for posting this. Found it on… Google.
    Myself, I find it infuriating that I must add some special extra plus sign before Google will perform the actual search I knowingly asked for, rather than some whole other search that Google thinks I would like better. You should be able to click that in your preferences : “Actually search for what I typed into the search form”.