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So now you need to "quote" "every" "word" "you" "are" "searching" "for" - how crazy is this?

What is even worse than this - and this is pretty bad already - is that terms are no longer included by default.

Google will leave out terms you are searching for, if it so chooses, unless you purposely put the plus (or now quotes).

The engineers are not in control, it's pretty darn obvious.

added: Doesn't the use of quotes prevent stemming? Didn't plus allow stemming?

> The engineers are not in control, it's pretty darn obvious.

As a software engineer, I take offense at that. This is precisely the right decision to make if you observe that this is how your customers are using your product. You don't need a product guy to tell you that.

So what is the logical opposite of using a minus to remove terms? Quotes?

This is what customers remember and do? I highly doubt that.

Or are they trying to reserve the plus now for another feature in the future?

Remember, on Google +, you don't mention @somebody, you mention +somebody. I'm sure they're going to reuse + so you can search for +somebody.

This is stupid on Google's part. People are used to mentioning others via "@" (unless, maybe, Twitter has copyrighted/patented this). Forcing people to use "+" will just make adoption of G+ harder. Google should remember that they're the underdog here, playing catchup to Twitter and FB. Raising the barrier to entry only hurts them.

people have been using @ to mention others since pretty much the beginnings of online discussion, way before facebook and twitter (I'm agreeing with you - this is a stupid move by Google and goes against 15+ years of convention)

Just because something has always been done one way doesnt mean it always has to be done that way.

I think that, while nerds are used to mentioning others via @, regular people are used to putting @ in email addresses. Frankly, I find this change frustrating (for the reason that " is not the opposite of -) but I don't believe regular people are going to have any more difficulty with +Adam than they did with @Adam.

If you type @<name> it gets converted into +<name>.

I agree with the implication of your last question. It would certainly make sense for google to integrate Google Plus directly into their core product. I haven't thought of an exact path this would take, but if you're branding an operator, brand it everywhere.

> but if you're branding an operator, brand it everywhere.

And this behavior is what provoked the statement that the engineers are no longer in control- branding trumping usability.

But, consistency is an important part of usability.

Consistency cuts both ways. There is the branding consistency of the + symbol, and then there is the consistency of how + worked for searches last week vs. this week. My vote is that consistency in usage trumps consistency in branding.

Google+ probably gets much more usage than the + search operator. I'm sad that that part is becoming harder, but if they have a use for + that's integral for a future piece that relates to Google+, the needs of the many and all that.

I just tried Bing, + works on there it seems.

I can't believe it's been almost 10 years of using Google. Default search changed to Bing on all Laptops. I'm done. Fuck Google.

Have you tried DDG? http://duckduckgo.com/about.html

I wonder how ignoring + in all of the millions of existing search links on the internet affects Google's ad revenue...

I put together http://finderr.org and use that as a search service exactly because of this. I don't keep IPs in the logs of the server.

Cool, was about to put something together just like this, but don't have to now. Just submitted it here on HN.

I'm glad someone finds it helpful! I used web.py, by the way.

I'm not sure how to go about the log configuration. If the users prefer it I can just disable logging altogether, although I'd prefer keeping some information (not IPs) at least for a single day so I can get basic usage statistics. I promise not to do anything evil with the little information I may get in any case.

Can be handy, thanks for this, but some chrome extension/firefox add-on/etc. would be possibly better (haven't searched for such actually, strange, I should or even write such!).

Also: don't only promise! Put privacy page right there and explain what you explained here (maybe even in greater details, people love transparency), so every user we'll be able to obtain same information.

I did just that, thanks for the input. I actually went ahead and discarded the actual query strings being used; so I'm now logging access times, referrers and user agents only.

I agree that an extension may be better, although this may come handy when you're not using your computer or main browser.

This is the reason I stopped using Altavista and began using Google. I will now move away from Google, this is the last straw.

The problem is that despite this, the alternatives are all terrible. Once Google started ignoring random words a while back, I tried first DuckDuckGo, but their index is still quite small and my first query returned a single, unrelated result. Then I tried Bing and the results just aren't as good. I keep finding myself going back to google manually despite having Chrome set to use Bing by default...

DuckDuckGo uses Bing for search results. I use it whenever I can, but you can add a !g before your query to search Google instead, if the results aren't great.

I'd highly recommend Blekko. It is by far the best alternative out there and they support tons of ways to get exactly what you need.

Additionally, they run their own crawler so it's not just rehashing Bing results, etc.

Give DuckDuckGo a try then... I'm pleased with it.

You can simply prepend [[allintext:]]. That way you won't be infantilized and it won't search for synonyms. Compare these two searches: [[job steve opple]] vs. [[allintext:job steve opple]]. However, it's no panacea: the results for Dylan16807's example - [[allintext:"everything wrong" crossfade]] - still show everything's wrong.

You can append &nfpr=1 to the query string to make it more strict. That's what http://finderr.org does.

Do you have some example queries where this was necessary? I can make sure they get looked at.

I take it you work for Google.

I have the impression that Google likes to collect data. If you are indeed interested in fixing the recent quality dip of your search product, example queries where plus (now quotes) are necessary can be automatically collected by inspecting all searches where quotes are included.

If these are too many, filter by those that had a recent similar search without quotes. I doubt this is necessary, though. Who puts quotes in their search string the first time?

If I worked at Google, I'd be interested in the growth of use of the plus-operator lately. It has become a necessity for nearly all technical searches I do. Make a chart of it. Show it to the people in charge of this recent trend. Google search has seriously gotten worse. Forcing quotes instead of plus highlights this problem because it's twice the work.

We've looked at data like this. I'm trying to get examples from the community to supplement it. Looking at aggregate statistics isn't a great way to measure what's bothering power users.

I've saved a few searches where autocorrect gets too aggressive. I've run in to more than this but I don't save all since usually I just want results for my search immediately and don't feel like recording them:

I needed `+pyinotify` on this one to get the results I requested. I've come across this problem with quite a few other python packages but I can't recall them at the moment.:

    Search:  pyinotify thread
    Result:  Aggressive correction; wrong
    `Showing results for inotify thread. Search instead for pyinotify thread`

This one isn't exactly related but automatically changing negated terms is frustrating:

    Search:  win 7 processor not +downclocking -gpu
    Result:  bad autocorrect
    Showing results for win 7 processor not +downclocking -cpu.
    Search instead for win 7 processor not +downclocking -gpu.

Ok. Got it.

An example for you: "libtelldus no symbols" gives me three absolutely unrelated results for my top hits, confusing me enough not to register the following five related hits.

Here are two examples I ran into:

- "isomac logo kerning" (w/o quotes). I wanted to know if someone had specifically written about the kerning of the logo for the company ISOMAC (it's horrible, by the way). I got a very general search for "logo kerning" instead -- I had to put "isomac" in quotes.

- "hvordan bli kvitt olje" (w/o quotes, in Norwegian). The three first words are "how to get rid of" and the last one is "oil". Again, I got a very general search for how to get rid of stuff -- oil was omitted. (I rarely search in Norwegian, so this isn't a big one, but it shows the same pattern)


Here's an example I just ran into:

I want to search for Ubuntu's go-compiler package.

But if I search for "go-compiler" (with or without quotes) I get a bunch of hits for "Go compiler", with my dash turned into a space. That's a bunch of hits I don't want, and now I have to go wading. None of the top 10 hits are about what I asked for.

To me, the + operator meant "I know what I'm doing and please turn off the fuzzy help".

So how does one turn off fuzzy searching now?

intext:go-compiler does not help.

Dammit, sometimes dashes have meaning.

That isn't something new. Punctuation had always been ignored, + operator or not. (With some few exceptions like C++.)

I guess it's a job for a browser extension now to include all search keywords in double quotes. Will that stop this madness? Between Google Instant and this, I wish Google rolled back to an earlier version(excepting things like the Panda update which reduced spam results).

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