Use AROUND Operator In Google Searches For More Specific Results

Use AROUND Operator In Google Searches For More Specific Results

Google searches are pretty smart and tend to be relevant to your search terms, but if you want to get really specific you can specify the proximity of your search terms with the undocumented AROUND operator.

While the AND operator, used to ensure the inclusion of two search terms (e.g. “Bert AND Ernie”), is great when you just need those search terms to appear anywhere in the results. Often times, however, you might search for Bert and Ernie but come across several articles that focus on Bert and Ernie’s name just shows up in a contextual link somewhere else on the page. This situation is a job for the AROUND operator, which lets you specify the proximity in which your search terms appear in the results.

For example, if you were searching for “Bert AND Ernie” before, you could now use “Bert AROUND(1) Ernie” instead. This will tell Google that you’re looking for Bert and Ernie to appear in close proximity to each other. If you want to extend the range a bit, increase the number (e.g. AROUND(2), AROUND(3), etc.).

An Undocumented Google Search Operator [Digital Inspiration]


  • That’s pretty cool.

    Interestingly, it works similarly to (but not always exactly like) the “near” when using geographical terms (and without the number in brackets) such as location names.

    For example: “web design near Ashgrove” and “web design around Ashgrove” (Ashgrove = suburb of Brisbane) work the same when the searcher is located on a network address in/near Brisbane (although if you are located in EU/US, for example, you’ll see a bunch of different results because Ashgrove is a different place there).

    It’s all about Google’s desire to show you “relevant” results (at least as the define relevance).

    As an aside, has anyone noticed the “Caffeine” keyboard shortcuts and how a selection can be defaulted to a paid ad instead of an organic (natural) result ?

    I wonder how many users have accidentally pressed “enter” and been transported to an advertised site ?

    Examples here if you’re interested:

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