Net 2: Find Exact Phrases

Words hang together in predictable ways. If you type a phrase into the EXACT PHRASE field in Google, you'll be able to locate pages in which those words appear together in that order. This is obviously useful for finding things that have a proper name consisting of several words (e.g., places, book titles, people).

It's also useful when you can remember a distinctive phrase in something you've read, but now need to locate it. What's the rest of the poem that starts with "Jenny kissed me when we met"?

The ability to search for phrases can be surprisingly useful. Do you suspect that something your student turned in was plagiarized, or at least heavily borrowed without attribution? Type in a phrase or two from the paper and see if it turns up elsewhere! You can also check to see if your own work is being copied without your permission.

Another use for this feature: stamping out urban legends. Next time you get an e-mail warning you about a repressive new law about to pass or a vicious computer virus about to attack, check it out before passing on misinformation to others. Type in any unusual or unique phrase you see in the e-mail and see if others have commented on this particular rumor.

# Matches

You've heard of a fine public university in the lower left corner of the United States and you want to know more about it. Try this search...

EXACT PHRASE: San Diego State University

Write the number of hits you get below.

Here's how to search for it badly:

WITH ALL: San Diego State University


Here are some more searches to try:


EXACT PHRASE: let's roll

EXACT PHRASE: stamping out urban legends  
EXACT PHRASE: Jenny kissed me when we met  

Continue to NET #3
Written by Bernie Dodge. Last updated March 11, 2002

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