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Tip #5: Search for an Exact Phrase

When you’re searching for an exact phrase, you won’t get the best results simply by entering all the words in the phrase as your query. Google might return results including the phrase, but it will also return results that include all those words—but not necessarily in that exact order.

When you want to search for an exact phrase, you should enclose the entire phrase in quotation marks. This tells Google to search for the precise keywords in the prescribed order.

For example, if you’re searching for Monty Python, you could enter monty python as your query, and you’d get acceptable results; the results will include pages that include both the words "monty" and "python." But these results will include not only pages about the British comedy troupe, but also pages about snakes named Monty, and guys named Monty who have snakes for pets, and any other pages where the words "monty" and "python" occur—anywhere in the page, even if they don’t appear adjacent to one another.

To limit the results just to pages about the Monty Python troupe, you want to search for pages that include the two words in that precise order as a phrase. So you should enter the query "monty python"—making sure to surround the phrase with quotation marks. This way, if the word "monty" occurs at the top of a page and "python" occurs at the bottom, it won’t be listed in the search results.

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