Google Finds @Twitter Handles, #Hashtags

booleanstrings Boolean 3 Comments

Remember this recent post on Mashable Google: Sorry, Twitter, We Don’t Index the @ Symbol? Those of us on the Boolean Strings group, who are search syntax perfectionists and are tired of seeing yet another suggestion to search for @*.com or *@ibm.com, etc. to find emails, were glad that this info (that is present in Google’s help as well, by the way) was confirmed once again.

It still remains true, regarding searching for emails. Try these search strings:

As of today, there’s no difference.
However,  some us of have been noticing that some special characters are being recognized lately, in some special circumstances. It was not a surprise when Google posted a vague description of an update called Deep Maroon saying they have started to look for some characters: Improvements to handling of symbols for indexing….Based on analysis of our query stream, we’ve now started to index the following heavily used symbols: “%”, “$”, “\”, “.”, “@”,“#”, and “+”. 

Now everybody’s talking about Google searching for special symbols. But wait, it hasn’t quite happened yet!

(Let me remind you, how much celebration, tweets, and re-tweets we had just two months ago about Google Showing Results for Punctuation Marks. What happened at that point was that Google started recognizing search strings consisting of just one special symbol such as / or @)

With the necessary reality checks in place (and let’s watch the strings above and hope they will look for emails one day) here is what I have noticed so far.

Google would recognize

 

Pretty cool! 🙂

Comments 3

  1. Great post highlighting some of the changes Google is continuing to make. It is great that they may be expanding the use of punctuation in search strings but there is a big unknown in finding out how far they will go. It seems like Google is hesitant to add too much functionality that would aid a proper email search. No doubt if they ever decide to add it, it will be big news (along with the controversy about privacy and spam).

  2. Nice post, Irina; appreciate the clarification – seems Google is always anxious to promote before they actually produce!

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