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To Quote the user habit

Using qoute marks to define the search and how many people use it?



10:59 am on Jun 2, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Optmising relevant pages has been a profession of mine for a while but I have been out of the game for a while and as usual coming back to it for a new project has ment that some questions have arisen about the way people search.

It all boils down to the use of "quote" marks when searching for information.

you can find the relevant phrases etc that matter to your product/info so that searches can find you...no problem.

But there is a severe difference in the use of quote marks when searching and not using quote marks.

Most people, I would assume will simply tap in the words they require to find and are as such presented with a page with the key words spattered around the text.

Search with quote markes for the exact same phrase and BANG, different result set but it can be seen that the EXACT phrase is used because of the quote marks.

SO, my question is, do we know if the general searcher uses the quote marks as the consequence of this makes a serious difference in the amount of competion you face in gaining rankings and the traffic that you consequently generate from your phrase.

Discussion much appreciated...


10:53 pm on Jun 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I would say they don't. Anytime someone has seen me doing it they ask why I am doing it. I also see many people type in very vague searches. I tell them to be specific or they will be there all day. Actually sometimes I just watch them get frustrated for 5 mins then ask them to step aside. I find what they want and they say how did you do that so fast?

Google supposedly changes the algo to try and help the surfer. Even wants to try and figure out what the surfer means. How hard would it to be to put a simple phrase under the search box that says "Be Specific" and/or to even put a quick note about the quotes. Most people are not going to take the time to go read a page about how to surf.


11:04 am on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

oh so true unfortunately.

whats your opinion on the development of search. Obviously the way people are searching is developing very quickly, and ppl do realise that there are better techniques towards finding the information you want. eg they used to type in single or double phrases, now it has expanded towards multiple word search terms etc.

It just surprises me I suppose that people dont use such a simple thing as "" marks in their searches to filter out all the irrelevant results and find the exact phrases for the info they are looking for.

Scratch that, most people who "casually" search the web cant even spell their own domain name at times never mind getting into the area of understanding search! lol!

Anyway, the next generation of searchers will certainly be more specific in my opinion nd I believe this, along with the advances in local search etc are going to have a profound effect on the search engines, and especially businness in general on the web, even my 19 year old brother searches and finds things that I wouldnt be able to get in a quarter of the time!


11:22 am on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I am not sure you are right about the new generation generally.

I recently did a session with a group of 15/16 year olds at a local school who were setting up websites in relation to a mini-companies they were running for a project. All of them were very regular internet users. We got into the area of search because they needed to find some information and it was amazing to me how poorly they searched.

Not only had none of them ever thought or known about the idea of using quotes, in fact it was a bit of a revelation to their teachers to learn of this! They also had a tendency to put word abbreviations into their search terms.

These kids spend their time texting each other - along the lines of "c u l8r spst" - and they abbreviate all the time, though not as radically as that. One of the teachers told me that many of them put abbreviations into essays regularly and think you are an old fart if you have a problem with this.


1:18 pm on Jun 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hey thanks for the tips. If you have a site for the younger crowd maybe you should keyword it with abbrevations!


2:57 pm on Jun 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

oh god!

I never thought of this! this is a road i definatley don want to go down! Im irish actually and our use of the english language is colourful to say the least... try this on for size..

"What about ye mucker. What's at? Your a tourist? Ha! We don't get many of your sort roun' here. What fillum are ye commin'ta see? Ack aye, sure a saw that lawst week and the guy turns out ta be a ghost. Not worf yer muny"

translates as

"hello friend. Are you good? A tourist?! ah I see!
We dont get many touists here. What film are you about to view? oh yes, i watched that myself, excellent viewing, at the end the star is actually a ghost too. Please spend your money on something more beneficial as I have just told you the whole story and ruined the film for you."

try applying the first paragraph to search! Even then have a look at cockney slang or jive!

Anyway, to get to the point, in regards to search and the whole use of quotes thing i reckon it will eventually become standard as time progresses, jsut need some one (aka major search engine) to maybe put it on their front pages!


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