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A super-useful Google Search hack just got a smart update

Updated Dec 7th, 2022 11:54AM EST
Google Search History
Image: Google

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One of the best search hacks for finding things easily in Google Search is about to get a lot better. Being able to search using quotes in Google Search has been one of the best ways to find specific phrases or words in a webpage or document for years. But now, Google will highlight where the quoted phrase or word appears. This should let you see exactly where it appears on the page much more easily.

Searching with quotes in Google Search just got a lot easier

quote search in Google Search
As you can see in the image above, Google now bolds the words or phrases you search for in quotes in Google Search. Image source: Google

Previously, when you searched for a quoted phrase in Google Search, you’d be greeted by various URLs and snippets about pages that might include that phrase or word. This made it easier to find exact quotes in documents and other material, or even just to find out where you might have read that phrase the first time. Now, searching for quotes in Google Search is about to improve.

The change that Google is making is very simple. The results will still show the same as they always have. However, Google will now provide a more detailed snippet underneath each URL. The snippet is where Google provides additional context for each URL it displays in Google Search. If you search for “best dog treats,” you’ll see a snippet under each URL that outlines what it is about.

Google detailed the new change in a blog post this week. According to the post, snippets will show you the quoted phrase you searched for in bold letters. Additionally, it will provide some context about where that bit of text is found on the page. The company included a nice example of how quotes in Google Search look now, which we’ve included above.

Why did Google change things?

Google Search on iPad
Unfortunately, the new Google Search results for quoted searches only appear to work on the desktop site. Image source: Teerasan/Adobe

Well, the previous way that Google did things was perfectly fine. However, when you searched for quotes in Google Search, it didn’t provide the context of where or how the phrase was used. This made it difficult to pinpoint exactly why that page might be showing under your results.

However, with the new method, Google has bolded the word. Making it easier to pick out the contextual inclusion for the phrase. Google’s Yonghao Jin says search results didn’t previously show this because the phrase was often included in parts of the page that weren’t considered helpful in snippets.

However, Google says people value seeing where the quote they searched for appears on the page. As such, the company has initiated this new change. Unfortunately, it’s only available on the desktop. So if you search for quotes on mobile, you’ll still need to find them on the page yourself.

Google enlisted other changes to Google Search earlier this year, so make sure to check those out, too.

Josh Hawkins has been writing for over a decade, covering science, gaming, and tech culture. He also is a top-rated product reviewer with experience in extensively researched product comparisons, headphones, and gaming devices.

Whenever he isn’t busy writing about tech or gadgets, he can usually be found enjoying a new world in a video game, or tinkering with something on his computer.