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Google used to "+" each term by default, but lately I keep stumbling on pages that are omitting one of my search terms. Perhaps they've recently tweaked the engine for relevance?

I know the content can change between their indexing and my viewing, but I've suddenly run into this problem a lot recently. If I go back and "+" each term, it knows I'm serious about it and rejects the errant result for the next search.

Is there a default setting to change it back to absolutely require each search term?

I don't want to add extra characters to my search query, just tick a box or something to make it work like it used to.

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closed as off topic by Sathya Jun 13 '13 at 4:12

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For example: cisco air ap 1131ag repeater. One of the results were missing the 3rd and 5th word. –  hyperslug Aug 13 '09 at 0:42
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3 Answers

Sometimes if the term isn't in the page it may be in a page that is referencing that page. If you view the cached version it will report on that. That may be what is going on.

At a test to see that it is doing an AND (just maybe with words that are not there) vs. an OR (what was previously the standard) is to look at your result count as you add or remove words. It used to be that as you added words you got more results because it included pages that included any words. If you try this with Google you will see that the number of results changes inversely as you add and remove words.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

From Google search basics: More search help:

A particular word might not appear on a page in your results if there is sufficient other evidence that the page is relevant. The evidence might come from language analysis that Google has done or many other sources. For example, the query [ overhead view of the bellagio pool ] will give you nice overhead pictures from pages that do not include the word 'overhead.'

Another search example is "loopback 127.0.0.1 snuffleupagus". The first link is a wikipedia article with absolutely nothing about snuffleupagus. Only "+loopback +127.0.0.1 +snuffleupagus" will bring up relevant links.

[status-bydesign], apparently.

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Yeah, what I said. If you click "cached" on the first link it will tell you that your words only appear in the links pointing to it. –  Jim McKeeth Aug 31 '09 at 8:28
    
@Jim, I agree. This post is just documenting Google's reasoning behind making this change (relevance) and that there is no solution to my question (default require). –  hyperslug Aug 31 '09 at 17:00
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the character "+" is not a trigger for requiring a term...if you want to require a term to be found then use quotations.

Example: cheese danish "block"

That query tells Google to only return results that has "block" in them...but it could return results for "cheese block" or "danish block" but not necessarily results with all three.

Quotations are how you can heavily specify what you are looking for but applies to more than just keywords.

You can require multiple keywords in a search and you can even require phrases or sentences.

Example: news "what did you call me"

That will return results that are news related whether based on the keyword or the site they are on but requires whatever is returned to have the phrase "what did you call me" somewhere on the page.

I know this question is old but it is valid info to have.

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