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The + operator no longer works in Google.

Google has replaced the + operator with double quotes.

Created: 2011-10-21 14:38

The + operator has been replaced with double quotes ("string"), this may confuse some webmasters, who used the operator in the past to find mentions of their sites.

Perhaps the best way to look for recent mentions, is to search for "" in Google, and then set the time span to 24hours, depending on how many mentions your site manages to get.

Users who goes to Google and uses the plus operator, are likely to be met with the following message.

The + operator has been replaced.
To search for an exact word or phrase, use double quotation marks: "search string"

Effect on SEO

This change has caused confusion among some SEOs who used the operator to search for exact mentions, or keywords to target.

The thing is, in the past double quotes wouldn't behave right, so we had to use the plus operator. But that seem to have changed now, so using double quotes instead should work.

Automatic bloat features

Another problem with Google, is their automatic alterations of search strings. It would be better to show them as suggestions, and still complete the users original command.

What we would like to see implemented, is a flag or operator at the end of the string, which would tell Google not to come up with its annoying suggestions.

Finally the autocomplete feature tend to annoy users, because if you happen to press the left arrow key the wrong moment, you could lose everything you typed.. This can however be avoided by using the end key instead, when navigating to the end of the string.