Bottom line: if you are a researcher, consider using quotes!
To Whom It May Concern At Google Search:
There is currently a problem with Google search, specifically, quotes. It might be an unintended outcome of How we’re improving search results when you use quotes. We welcome the improvement. But here is something odd: try
- name title company email director manager vp alaska texas – 66 results
- “name” “title” “company” “email” “director” “manager” “vp” “alaska” “texas”– 393 results
- any couple of words in quotes – around 200 results (in-between).
What? I expect the numbers of results to be the other way around, i.e., for Google to bring in synonyms if I do not use quotes – and show more results.
Quotes even affect OR statements, e.g., “developer” OR “engineer” <keywords> finds more than developer OR engineer <keywords> (I expect to see the same results if OR is used):
- “developer” OR “engineer” java c python typescript yahoo resume – 269 results
- developer OR engineer java c python typescript yahoo resume – 32 results
I noticed the unexpected behavior while at #sosueu in Amsterdam last week. None of us could explain it. It is as if Google works harder if you use quotation marks. And most Google users do not use them around single words.
As far as I can tell, it is a bug (unusual for Google search). Let’s see if they fix it or give us an explanation. In the meantime, keep in mind the phenomena.
I hope a fix will happen faster than it has for LinkedIn (9 months and counting).