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Author Topic: Google Search  (Read 3912 times)

Deozaan

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Google Search
« on: May 17, 2010, 01:34:18 PM »
Did you know that Google handles all searches as if they were performed with lower case letters? In other words, Google searches are case insensitive.

This means that searching for an editor called "StarED" gives results about staring, or being stared at. I can understand why Google would do this by default, but even their "Advanced Search" lacks the option to match case.

Okay, so I admit that I've been using the Google Search Engine for years and never had this issue affect me before, but... how the smurf can they not think this would be useful or even required in some cases?


JavaJones

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2010, 02:40:00 PM »
Yeah I've run afoul of this before. Not sure how difficult it would be for them to implement it though, so I'm not too annoyed about it. If I find out it would be fairly easy and they just don't do it for simplicity's sake I will be mad though. ;)

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alivingspirit

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2010, 10:32:43 PM »
It wouldn't be difficult to implement, but it would use a ton of Google server space. In order to create case-sensitive search, Google would have to index the words based on the way they are capitalized, adding to the amount of space it would take to store each word and possibly slowing down search. Knowing Google, if they really wanted the feature they would have it, but its not as simple as you would think.  

JavaJones

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2010, 11:42:45 PM »
That's what I figured. When I said "how difficult it would be to implement" I really meant how much of a negative impact it would have. I know from a technical standpoint the actual search function for case sensitivity is not complex, but doing it against their huge database of site content, yes it might have an impact in search performance. Of course if it was only available through the Advanced interface that would cut down a lot on its use.

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Deozaan

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 12:17:59 AM »
If they already have a large database of searches indexed, why can't they just search all results of the case insensitive index for the matching case sensitive search?

I still don't get what the problem is. Especially as an advanced search option that is disabled by default. I wouldn't mind if it went a bit slower.


Eóin

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2010, 08:02:05 AM »
If they already have a large database of searches indexed, why can't they just search all results of the case insensitive index for the matching case sensitive search?

If they designed for case-insensitive searches from the start then almost certainly they'd have done something like lowercase everything before it goes into the index as well as lowercase each search prior to checking the index.

It's very possibly that they can't offer a case sensitive search because there simply are no uppercase letters anywhere in their index.

Deozaan

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2010, 09:12:45 AM »
It's very possibly that they can't offer a case sensitive search because there simply are no uppercase letters anywhere in their index.

Thanks for explaining that. Now it makes sense.

Yet it still seems to me like there would be a relatively simple way to filter the results after they've been loaded in the browser since it does show uppercase letters in the search results I get.


daddydave

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2010, 10:25:19 AM »
You can do a Case Sensitive Google Search here. It's kind of surprising to me as well that Google doesn't offer it, since Altavista used to have a case sensitive search back in the Netscape 2 / Windows 3.1 / Trumpet Winsock era. I think regular expression searches were common back then even. Of course the web was smaller then, but still--
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Eóin

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2010, 11:38:04 AM »
Interesting daddydave, a search for LaTeX indeed did not have any material or fetish related results. No sign of StarED though, are you sure it existed online at some point Deozaan?

steeladept

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2010, 11:46:41 AM »
Or even EDSTAR @ www . edstar . org?

Just a thought....

Deozaan

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2010, 01:59:53 PM »
No sign of StarED though, are you sure it existed online at some point Deozaan?

Yes I'm sure. I managed to find it by searching for "Stars Editor" but only by chance, since the result for Stars Editor was something to edit the (x,y) coordinates of stars in the (2D) game, but on the same page there was a link to the site that had StarEd.


Deozaan

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2010, 02:01:50 PM »
You can do a Case Sensitive Google Search here.

I had tried that before I started this thread. I couldn't figure out what the results meant, and clicking on any of them didn't seem to do anything.

Try a search for StarEd on there and see if it makes sense to you.


daddydave

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2010, 03:40:46 PM »
Try a search for StarEd on there and see if it makes sense to you.

No, they don't! It's as if that particular search breaks the site. But I can do other searches.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!

Eóin

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2010, 04:25:04 PM »
I was guessing that's what happens for zero results. Certainly gibberish searches, with zero results from Google itself, turn up the same thing.

Dormouse

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2010, 04:54:54 PM »
But it's not just Google that does this. Same results from Ask, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo (and others I assume - I gave up at that point).

Curt

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2010, 10:31:55 AM »
« Last Edit: May 20, 2010, 07:47:21 PM by Curt »

Deozaan

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Re: Google Search
« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2010, 04:50:39 PM »
Thanks Curt.

That's exactly what I was looking for. :Thmbsup: