Finally, Google have introduced a verbatim web search facility. This means that it will search for exactly what you ask it to search for, and not get bizarrely and unhelpfully creative, as we all know it so easily can.
However, Google being Google, the implementation is clunky. Their press release says “You can access the verbatim search tool under “More search tools” on the left-hand side.”
You can look in vain for any sign of it, and you won’t see it. You actually have to run the search before “More search tools” appears as advertised, then you have to click it, scroll down to Verbatim and click that to search again. This is not helpful.
Why this can’t be put on Google’s front end, as an option to implement before searching, and not afterwards, I have no idea. It would be more convenient.
And no, it’s not as minor a point as it might first appear. A lot of people spend a hell of a lot of time on Google, and having to, in effect, repeat the first search in every session, equates to an awful lost of wasted time over a year.
And you can, if you’re not careful, end up having to activate the Verbatim option for every single search, as if you delete your original search term to type in another, Verbatim disappears, and has to be activated again.
To avoid this, just select (highlight), your previous search term, and overtype with the new one – that way Verbatim will stay active.
Of course, Google could always make Verbatim the defaults setting (or provide a way for users to make it so), but they don’t. Mind you, were they to do so, judging by the deeply crap spelling that shows up in search terms in my blog’s stats, that would result in a hell of a lot of failed searches. Hell, some people have trouble spelling DLA. Seriously. Thing is, that sort of error isn’t illiteracy, it’s pure carelessness.
So why not humour the literate, and the careful, and make the rest turn off Verbatim if they can’t spell, or can’t be arsed paying attention to what they’re typing?
Why does everything have to be reduced to the lowest common denominator?