Google improves search results when quotes are used

This week, Google revealed improvements to ‘quoted’ searches. The text you see describing web content is built around the location of a word or phrase cited in a web document in the snippets that Google displays for search results. Google recently implemented a unified Gmail interface to improve the user experience.

For example, if you type “google search” in the search bar, the snippet will show the exact location of that phrase. Therefore, once you click on the link and access the content, it will be easier to locate it. Quoted text will also be bolded on the desktop.

Additionally, Google said it has received feedback indicating that users of citation searches prefer to see the specific location of cited text on a website rather than a general description of the page. This improvement aims to help them do so.

How citation searches work

For people doing citation searches, Google has provided some tips and caveats on how citation searches work.

  • Citation searches can match content not visible on a page: Sometimes quoted searches match text that is not clearly visible on a webpage, making it appear that the content is not present while he is
  • Pro Tip: After visiting a page, some people use the browser’s Find command to find a phrase. Otherwise, try the developer tools. In Chrome’s Developer Tools, users can search for all rendered text, including text in drop-down menus
  • Pages may have changed since Google last visited: Google frequently revisits web pages, but these may change. This means that the quoted text was on a page we visited, but has disappeared. Google’s cached copies may show where the quoted information appeared on the page we viewed
  • Cited terms can only appear in title links and URLs: Cited terms won’t appear in snippets if they only appear in title links or URLs. Google does not bold match title links to URLs
  • Punctuation marks are sometimes considered spaces: Google indicates that certain punctuation marks are considered spaces, which affects quoted searches. [« don’t doesn’t »] directs its algorithms to find documents containing these letters in this order. Therefore, we will match texts in which punctuation marks such as commas or dashes separate words, because the letters are the same: don’t, doesn’t; don’t/doesn’t; don’t—doesn’t
  • Snippets may not show multiple quoted terms: If the search terms are far apart, the snippet may not show them completely. If quoted text appears multiple times on a page, an excerpt shows the most relevant example
  • We primarily bold quoted content for web page snippets on desktop: our new quoted text bolding system only works on desktop. Bold does not appear in recipe or video boxes, or in image or news searches. These boxes and special modes contain quoted phrases. But results on mobile are not bolded
  • Quoted searches don’t work for local results: Quote restriction doesn’t work for local results, which are displayed with a map; we will examine this point in more detail.

About these improvements, Yonghao Jin, Software Engineer, Search, Google said:

By default, our systems are designed to search both the exact words and phrases entered and related terms and concepts, which is often useful. If you use quoted search, you may miss useful content that uses closely related words.

Of course, there are cases where the presence of the exact word on a page makes all the difference. In this case, citation searches remain available and are even better.

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