August 17, 2022

What you need to know

  • Google Search allows users to hone in on phrases with quotation marks.
  • The company is improving on the Search feature after receiving user feedback.
  • Google Search will now display where the quoted text is within a page, giving users more context.

One of the more useful tools in the Google Search arsenal is the ability to search exact words or phrases by placing quotation marks over them. It’s helpful for users that know exactly what they’re looking for and need to find specific information. However, the feature isn’t perfect, so Google is updating it to improve the results it displays to users.

On Thursday, the search giant detailed how it was improving upon searches made with quotes. Google software engineer Yonghao Jin explains that before, Search would include a page description, which may or may not be helpful to users. But with this new update, Search will now display where exactly the text appears within a result while also bolding the search word or phrase.

(Image credit: Google)

“In the past, we didn’t always do this because sometimes the quoted material appears in areas of a document that don’t lend themselves to creating helpful snippets,” Jin explains. “For example, a word or phrase might appear in the menu item of a page, where you’d navigate to different sections of the site. Creating a snippet around sections like that might not produce an easily readable description.”