A new Google feature you might have missed in the rush to Christmas. Google has a new “Verbatim” option, which bypasses the appallingly dumb second-guessing that gives results that assume “and” is what you meant when you typed “India”, or that “biography” is what you meant when you typed “bibliography”…

With Verbatim turned on, we’ll use the literal words you entered without making improvements such as…

* making automatic spelling corrections

* personalizing your search by using information such as sites you’ve visited before

* including synonyms of your search terms (matching “car” when you search [automotive])

* finding results that match similar terms to those in your query (finding results related to “floral delivery” when you search [flower shops])

* searching for words with the same stem like “running” when you’ve typed [run]

* making some of your terms optional, like “circa” in [the scarecrow circa 1963]

Great though this is to see, it confirms that people who actually want to do proper search are now second-class citizens in the Googlesphere.

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