Daily Illuminator

April 1, 2024: No, Really . . . Show Me What I Want!

Here's a tip that's making the rounds on social media. I've had to do in-depth Internet searches for years, often trying to track down the source of quotes or specific phrases. Many moons ago, Google would treat quotation marks in a search query as text that must be there; thus, searching for "Like costume heroes" (with the quotation marks) would quickly reveal that's the opening text to Amazing Fantasy #15. However, recently I've noticed that Google hasn't been honoring those quotation marks as much; the first block of results I get if I search for that nowadays is a bunch of superhero costumes it wants me to buy.

Not helpful! I already have my superhero costume, thank you very much! (Maybe you've noticed recently that the world hasn't been destroyed by meteors, the sun hasn't gone supernova, and you haven't been eaten by a tiger. You're welcome.) However, this one weird trick on the Internet provides a possible solution for those needing to really search for exactly what you're trying to search for. If you click Tools (on the right-hand side of text after you enter a query, below the search box), you'll see "Any time" with an arrow next to it, beside "All results" with another arrow next to it. Clicking "All results" gives you another option: Verbatim.

You want Verbatim.

I can't promise revelatory results, but the few times I've used it have provided better results in certain cases.

As a bonus tip, if your searches are pulling up a lot of results that seem suspiciously like they're AI generated, add "before:2023" (no quotes) to the search query; as it implies, it'll only show you results before 2023, when we all became extras in Tron. This doesn't seem like a permanent solution, but it's one that may be helpful today . . . and sometimes, the right answer today is all you're searching for.

-- Steven Marsh

Discuss this post on the forums!

Share this post!
| More

Copyright © 2024 by Steve Jackson Games. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy | Contact Us