I’ve blithered before about Google sodding up search, personalising it and “correcting” your input and so forth. I just want to enter search terms, and have a search engine search using those terms. Call me weird, but when I type something into a search box, it’s because I want to search for that word or phrase. I don’t want my search engine making what Google calls:
“…normal improvements such as
- 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]“
Deciding that some of what I type in is “optional”…
Basing the results returned on sites I’ve visited before…
Automatically “correcting” my spelling – from the obscure/technical word I wanted, to some meaningless and out of context foolishness…
Anyway, it’s not been just me complaining … well, maybe it has – until recently, when Google did away with the + operator, which previously could be added in front of a word to ensure it wasn’t “corrected”/modified – though that still left all the other “improvements”. Now Google has introduced what it is calling verbatim search, in which none of those “improvements” are made; it simply searches for the terms you type in, and returns the results.
Thank you, Google.
Oh, but … hold on a cotton-pickin’ minute. You can’t set it as default? You have to search, then when the results come up, click on more options or something, and navigate through to “verbatim search”? Sodding pleh.
So. I don’t like that very much. But it turns out I don’t have to. There is a little string, a few tiny characters, that when added to the end of your search string, can make all the difference:
That, my friends, is all you need for searching win.
Update: I’m pretty sure I found that string at Ghacks; I also note that there’s now a userscript called Gooverbatim that adds a “yes, really” button to Google – which obviously performs a verbatim search.
Now, in Chrome, you can set custom search engines. I created one with this string at the end (it also includes another few characters that I added ages ago I think to stop personalised results; I can’t remember … I left them in anyway, though they might be redundant):
Of course you would make it whatever country’s google URL you’re in (or another if you want, I suppose). Set that as the default search engine, and then when you type something into the address/search bar, you’ll get a verbatim search by default.
So. That’s Chrome sorted. What about my other browsers? Atomic on the iPad is easy: custom search engine with that URL: done. Mobile Safari though doesn’t allow custom search engines. Enter Quix.
It can however, be even more betterer. By adding a line to the quix command list (I also deleted a bunch of commands I would have no need for – you can do all that with a simple text editor) you can have it search without having to type ‘g’ before your search terms. The line you need (again, change the country as you wish) is:
* http://www.google.com.au/search?q=@search@&pws=0&hl=all&tbs=li:1 Untriggered search
I would suggest, as well as adding this line, adding &tbs=li:1 to the end of the default search string for google search in the quix command list; that way you still get a verbatim search even if for whatever reason you use the quix command stem (“g”) before your search terms.
I is happy.