This comes as a surprise to me, and may to many of us here. Verbatim and double quoted searches give different results. I thought that I'd used Verbatim search a lot, because I used double-quotes a lot to search for exact matches. They're a great way of refining searches.
I had assumed that that's what Verbatim did... return exact matches. It turns out this supposition is not generally true. I think that many here have been assuming the same thing. Here's some background to try to explain why there's a disconnect...
First, to define "verbatim".... I searched Google for a definition and picked one that summed up essentially all the other definitions I found, and which matches my longtime preconception of what the word "verbatim" means in English....
verbatim: Using exactly the same words; corresponding word for word
I discovered tonight that the use of double quotes around phrases to get exact matches is only consistent with Verbatim results when there are also double quotes in the Verbatim search.
When there are no quotes in the Verbatim search, Verbatim doesn't give anything like exact matches. Without double-quotes, Verbatim gives me what I would describe as all-the-exact-words but mostly not in the same order as my search"
, and thus returns many more pages. Many whistles and bells are gone too, but not all. Some buried searches do come to the surface, but judicious use of quotes can do much the same thing.
On single word searches, with or without quotes, Verbatim results and single-word default searches are generally significantly different from each other.
Now, why did I believe that using double-quotes and Verbatim were the same?....
a) I've been using double-quotes for years, along with many of us here. I'd almost never used the "+" operator (see below).
b) after dropping the "+" operator, Google initially suggested we use double quotes
c) the announcement of Verbatim below suggested Verbatim would be "a more deliberate way to tell Google to search using your "exact terms", which for me meant (and still means) use double-quotes.
d) I don't remember seeing any differences before, but I may not have checked further (blush). Double quotes were easier to use, and all reports as I read them had Verbatim as returning "exact terms".
e) Possibly, though, Verbatim and double quotes parted ways at some unspecified point in algo development. I really don't know.
f) something else might be going on that we don't understand, about how Google values keywords in searches?
Here's a long but only partial quote from the official Verbatim announcement, with my emphasis added... Search using your terms, verbatim Posted: 11/15/11 http://insidesearch.blogspot.com/2011/11/search-using-your-terms-verbatim.html
Behind the simplicity of Google search is a complex set of algorithms that expands and improves the query you’ve typed to find the best results. Automatic spelling correction ([vynal] to “vinyl”) and substituting synonyms (matching [pictures] to “photos”) are just two examples of the improvements we make.
In most cases, Google’s algorithms make things better for our users - but in some rare cases, we don’t find what you were looking for. In the past, we provided users with the “+” operator to help you search for specific terms. However, we found that users typed the “+” operator in less than half a percent of all searches, and two thirds of the time, it was used incorrectly. A couple of weeks ago we removed the “+” operator, encouraging the use of the double quotes, which are more likely to be used correctly.
Since then, we’ve received a lot of requests for a more deliberate way to tell Google to search using your exact terms. We’ve been listening, and starting today you’ll be able to do just that through verbatim search. With the verbatim tool on, we’ll use the literal words you entered without making normal improvements such as...
So... I will continue to use double-quotes to find exact matches, but I can see uses for Verbatim as a research tool... checking the effects of stemming, synonyms, etc. This is too new to explore further right now, and too late at night for me to care. ;) ...except to say that I don't think double quotes are going to disappear as search operators. I think some of my other questions are worth considering. Am I the only one who had this misapprehension? I'm guessing not. PS: Removed paragraph paste error and fixed typo.
[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 4:44 am (utc) on May 4, 2015]