Importance Of Punctuations In Keywords In Google Results!

At the Webmaster World, an informative issue about the importance of ‘Punctuations’ in Keywords for the Google results has been posted. Here it is in all its entirety for all our readers:


“Various punctuation characters have a noticeable impact on search results – mostly from a searcher perspective. As a webmaster, you may find that your users include punctuation in some keywords, and so it can be of use to know what the effect on the results they see is. And besides, knowing how to search Google is one step towards understanding how Google works. This is a spot check of the current handling of punctuation by Google.

Indexed punctuation


Underscores are treated as a letter of the alphabet, which is why you can -url= for an underscore directly-/url-. Use underscores in content if your visitors include an underscore when searching (e.g. if you had a programming site).


Ampersands or ‘and symbols’ have fairly unique handling. They’re both -url=– and also treated as the equivalent of word “and”. If there are no spaces separating the symbol and the adjacent letters, the search results are an approximate equivalent of combining results for -“key and word”- and -“key & word”- (note the phrase matching). Use ampersands in copy as is natural for your target audience.

Explicit search operators

Many punctuation characters are explicit search operators, with a documented effect on results. Search operators are not indexed (or at least, they can’t be searched for) and so are usually treated as word separators when found within website copy:


An (unbroken) pipe character is the equivalent of boolean OR: a search for -key OR word-. It can be a handy shortcut when conducting complex queries.


A double quote triggers an exact or phrase search for the proceeding words (whether you include a closing double quote or not). So in this instance, it’s the equivalent of a search for -key word- since a single word can’t be a phrase. -“key word- is the same as searching for -“key word”-.

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