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Verbatim Search And Compound Queries

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#1 iamlost


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Posted 19 November 2011 - 10:26 PM

I've been letting things of interest stack up so you may already be well aware of this: Search using your terms, verbatim, Google: Inside Search, 15-November-2011. It is sort of a reversion to an older Google, one that delivers what you asked, rather than what it thinks best for you.

Apparently Google thought that they could repurpose the search '+' operator for their new G+ family of products and proffer double quotes instead with little impact. The response was such that Google is now offering a two-for-one solution:
* double quotes
Note: I notice that frequently they ignore this 'new' operator.
* verbatim search
Note: well hidden, requiring at least an initial letter entered into the search box so that the left sidebar is generated; then look waaay down to the bottom for 'More search tools'; click it; again look way down to the bottom for 'Verbatim'; click it.

Yes, Google is not very serious about the user controlling the query.

If you give this 'verbatim' G a try and find you like it I suggest that you bookmark Google as:
dotca: http://www.google.ca/webhp?tbs=li:1
dotcom: http://www.google.com/webhp?tbs=li:1
dotcodotuk: http://www.google.co.uk/webhp?tbs=li:1
to get around the having to delve into the sidebar each time.

I have been using both ixquick meta search (and Google free results) and startpage (ixquick's Google only results) for several years now. Startpage appears fairly close to the new verbatim-G in my initial check.

Interesting anyway.

A fascinating follow-on is The SERPs Google’s Panda Forgot to Fix by Michael Martinez, SEO Theory, 14-November-2011.

Google did a pretty good job of cleaning up the single med SERPs but the combination SERPs are clogged with Web spam. I cannot imagine many people really finding good information in these SERPs.
The cottage industry queries seem to be populated by safe if irrelevant content, but the more consumers a complex query is related to, the more likely it’s being dominated by made-for-advertising spam. The spammers won’t appreciate my saying so, but Panda is so Last Month. Now I as a searcher want to see the search engines do something for me next week.

Ah, Michael, you do have a way with words. :)

There is of course much more to his article. The most important take-away - and one that perhaps says poor things about main stream, i.e. non-spammer, SEOs is that many/most are leaving so many so called 'long tail' query results to the spammers. It does vary somewhat by niche but I have a hard time considering subject basic combination terms long tail. I know that many drive me significant converting traffic. Apparently at least some spammers know this too.

Yes, it is an area the SEs (not only Google) are really really poor at quality control. But perhaps part of the blame goes to webdevs not optimising appropriately or efficiently.

Gotta love this business. There's always something new. Or improved. Or not. :D

#2 A.N.Onym


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Posted 20 November 2011 - 06:11 AM

I guess I'm not that far advanced, like you two guys, but I did find it remarkable that Google had put out, almost like a guideline, on what words one should focus on in content and anchor text:

  • 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]


  • make sure you type correctly, without typos, because typo traffic, once partly relied on, now almost doesn't exist thanks to automatic spellchecking *and showing SERs for corrected words* (is this really true, tho?)
  • try to have an often visited website, not just a bunch of articles that are rarely bookmarked. Focus on evergreen, best of the web content, the one that'd make EGOL proud (or raise his ears, if you are in his niche ;) )
  • include synonyms of your articles, headlines, subheadings and anchor text
  • build a strong link profile with various anchor text and a noticeable web presence, so you are shown in related queries
  • use derivatives of your words in your articles and, possibly, write in different complexity levels (general, practical, scientific level)
  • ignore stop words in anchor text, but do find out what topics you are missing (i.e., the scarecrow 1963)

You should be able to read deeper into the quote above, most likely.
I suppose, Matt was looking the other way, when that post was published. Matt or Google haven't been this forgiving for a while. Even in their Google SEO guide they weren't that transparent, as far as I remember (though I could be wrong here, of course) ;)

Though the above are old SEO guidelines, I'm surprised this piece came from Google ;) Not that we've learned anything new, naturally.

Edited by A.N.Onym, 20 November 2011 - 06:13 AM.

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