How is Google Improving Search Results When You Use Quotes?

Wakas Javed

Sometimes people know they specifically and only want a website that mentions an exact word or phrase.  For example, you might be curious about phone chargers, but only those chargers support wireless charging.

Luckily, Google search has a special operator for that: citations. Put quotation marks around specific keywords or phrases, e.g. [“wireless phone charger”], and we only show pages that contain the exact same words or phrases.

Google is Now Improving Quoted Search Even Better.

The snippet that Google displays for search results (i.e. the text you see that describes web content) is formed around where the word or phrase is quoted in a web document.

This means it’s easier for you to see where to find it once you click the link and visit the content. On desktop, Google also bolds quoted material.

For example, if you perform a search like [“Google Search”], the snippet will show you exactly where the phrase appears:

In the past, Google didn’t always do this, because sometimes Quoted material appeared in areas of the document where it was impossible to create useful snippets.

For example, words or phrases might appear in menu items on a page as you navigate to different parts of the site. Creating a snippet around those specific sections may not result in an easy-to-read description.

Google has received feedback that people doing quoted searches prefer to see where the quoted material occurs on the page rather than the full description of the page. Google Upgrades aims to help fix this.

Things To Remember When Searching For A “Quote”

For those doing a quoted search, here are a few more tips along with a warning about how quoted search works.

The Quoted Searches May Match Content That Is Not Easily Visible On Certain Pages.

As noted above, sometimes quoted searches will match content contained within a web page that is not easily visible, giving the impression that the content is not on the page that actually exists.

For example, content in the Meta description tag will be considered for matches even if the content is not visible on the web page itself.

The ALT text describing the image might also consider, as is the text in the page URL. Material entered via an iframe is also suitable.

Google can also see content that doesn’t load initially when you visit a page, content that’s rendered using JavaScript, and only appears when you click to view it.

Pro tip: sometimes users use standard search commands in the browser to jump to the phrase they want after arriving on the page. However, if that doesn’t work, you can try using the developer tools options.

For example, in Chrome, you can search for all text displayed in developer tools, which includes text in drop-down menus and other areas of the website.

The Page May Have Changed Since Your Last Visit To Google.

Although Google crawls web pages regularly, web pages can change between visits. This means that the quoted material may have appeared on the page when google visited this page last time, but is no longer on the current page.

Where available, Google’s cached copy view may show where the quoted content appears in the version of the page google visit.

The quoted term does not appear in the webpage snippet if it appears only within the title link or webpage URL. Google also don’t bold matches that appear in title links and URLs.

Punctuation Sometimes Seen As A Space

Google’s system treats some punctuation as spaces, which affects quoted searches. For example, if you search for [“don’t doesn’t”], google system is instructed to find content containing all of those letters in this order:

don t doesn t

As a result, Google matches content like the following where punctuation marks such as commas or dashes separate words — because if you remove punctuation, the letter patterns are the same:

  • don’t, doesn’t
  • don’t / doesn’t
  • don’t – doesn’t

Snippets Might Not Show Multiple Quoted Terms.

If the search includes multiple quoted terms, the snippet may not show all of them if they are widely spaced apart. Although the quoted material appears multiple times on the page, the snippet shows what is most relevant.

Google Quoted Bold Content Mainly For Desktop Webpage Snippets.

Google’s new bold font for quoted content usually only works for snippets of web pages on desktop computers. Bold type does not appear in the recipe snippet or video field, nor does it appear when using some special modes such as Image or message search.

However, everything listed in this particular box or rule contains quoted terms. Bolding quote also doesn’t work for mobile results.

Quoted Searches Don’t Work For Local Results.

Quoted searches don’t work for results in google local box, where results usually appear with maps; Google will look into this area more in the future.


Source: Google Search

Featured Image:  from Blog Google /Search

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