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Automatically search for different word extensions
Do I need to search for "term OR terms"?

 9:34 pm on Aug 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Does Google automatically search for plurals where it is a good idea? For example if I search for "milita" would I find a page that only had the word "militas" on it?

Is there a way to do a wildcard search in Google for, say, learn* which would return: learn, learns, learning, learned, etc.

If not, what search engines offer this sort of flexibility in searching (Altavista)?



 9:40 pm on Aug 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

Have you tested that? ;)

I'm a useless searcher but i know that you can do that. It's about all I know though!



 10:33 pm on Aug 11, 2002 (gmt 0)

In Google you do need to use OR (or you can use the "" character).

AltaVista lets you use * . See [searchengineshowdown.com...]

Northern Light automatically searches for both singular and plural if you enter a word in either singular or plural form.


 2:10 am on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately Google does not support wildcards as thoroughly as AltaVista does. The only wildcard Google supports is a full-word wildcard: "three * mice" finds three blind mice, three blue mice, three green mice, etc. So you'll have to use OR.


 4:29 am on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks for letting me know. I never knew that Google supported the full word wildcard. I suppose that there isn't much point for Google to heavily invest in these advanced search features since they would undoutedly take significant processing power and would yield only moderate gains since fewer than 5% of searchers know how to use wildcards.

Still, they're invaluable for us few percent who do know how to use them :)


 7:21 am on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

here is a recent thread on Google and single/plurals



 7:49 am on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

from: [google.com...]

To retrieve pages that include either word A or word B, use an uppercase OR between terms.

About this OR searching in Google, can someone clarify this?

search for "tumour" 229,000
search for "tumours" 162,000
search for "tumour OR tumours" 138,000

its probably a matter of semantics, but does "either" mean that a document containing both "tumour" and tumours" will not be listed? In that case using the "OR" will not yield the results prowsej wanted.


 3:54 pm on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I'm not sure what would account for the "tumour" counts, but searching for "A OR B" will find pages with "A", or "B", or "A" and "B"


 5:25 pm on Aug 12, 2002 (gmt 0)


I would have thought the same as you, hence my confusion.
Google describes the OR function in the advanced search page as: "with at least one of the words". I think Google puts its own maths to that..

compare Alltheweb, it is even more strange:

tumour 169,106
tumours 133,821
and the advanced feature
any of the words "tumour tumours" 2,323,145 !

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