Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 54.167.102.69

Message Too Old, No Replies

Why are "&" and "and" treated differently?

     
9:27 am on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 25, 2003
posts:2527
votes: 0


If you use & or and in a keyphrase you get different results. Just curious.
6:18 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

joined:May 26, 2000
posts:37301
votes: 0


Google shows 11 million results for the word "and" but 7 million for the ampersand character.

I do see some semantic matching between the two, but it can never be an exact equivalence. For example, [ ] is certain not the same as [and nbsp]

4:58 am on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member themadscientist is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Apr 14, 2008
posts:2910
votes: 62


Along the same lines as tedster's post...
They're not the same, and can mean very different things in a search:

When working with URLs this might be important:
encode &

and is completely different than:
encode and

6:28 am on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lame_wolf is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 30, 2006
posts:3224
votes: 9


It also treats apostrophes and hyphens differently.
7:01 am on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:6137
votes: 280


There's the literal aspect which brain dead, but very fast processing, algos deal with. How many ways can the ampersand be coded? Quite a few. And let us not get started on endash, emdash and ellipses!
2:41 pm on Oct 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

joined:July 3, 2008
posts:1553
votes: 0


"Briggs & Stratton" doesn't necessarily mean the same thing as "'Briggs' and 'Stratton'."

(Mind you, a lot of people--including me--are as likely to type "briggs and stratton" as they are to type "briggs & stratton" if they're looking for information on small engines for lawn mowers and the like. I wonder if search engineers spend much time agonizing over the sweet spot between literal correctness and adjusting for user behavior?)