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By default the search engine tries to locate pages which have exact matches for all of the words entered in your search query. If that fails, it then tries to locate pages which contain any words in your search query. If that happens a short message is displayed at the top of the search results indicating this has been done.

In addition, there are several ways to modify the default search behavior.

1. Phrase Search: The search engine supports three types of phrase search.

  • To match an exact phrase, use quotes around the phrase
    Example: "free search engine"
  • To match a near (within a couple of words) phrase, use square brackets [around the words]
    Example: [free search engine]
  • To match a far (within several words) phrase, use braces { around the words }
    Example: {free search engine}

2. + and - qualifiers

  • If you prepend a word with + that word is required to be on the page.
  • If you prepend a word with - that word is required to not be on the page.
    Example: +always -never

3. * wildcard

  • If a query word ends with a * all words on a page which start the same way as that query word will match.
    Example: gift*

4. ? wildcard

  • If a query word contains a ? any character will match that position.
    Example: b?g

5. boolean search

  • You can use the following boolean operators in your search: AND, OR, NOT. These operators MUST be in capital letters.
    Example: (contact AND us) OR (about AND us)

All of these techniques can be combined: +alway* -ne??r*