Google Search Changes It’s Formula for Exact Searches
I’ve noticed an interesting change in the way that Google gives results when searching with quotes. In the past it was not necessary to close your quotes to get an exact match search. You could use an opening quote only and then type in your search query and the SERP page would appear exactly the same as if you had used both opening and ending quotes like the search pictured above. But now, an open quoted search looks like this:
It’s gone from 1 match to 400,000 matches. While the exact match for this particular search still ranks at the top of the SERPs, note that Google lists many other results as if the query was entered without quotes at all. What’s interesting is that on a particular search I just did (not pictured), the exact match DID NOT appear first in the SERPs.
What does this mean? Well I’m not sure how many people use the no ending quotes shortcut to search in Google (or if there’s even a way to find out) but it’s no longer a viable way to research anything. Any users who do search in that way, will no longer be getting the exact match results they are expecting. I don’t think it’s worthwhile to pursue any strategies to take advantage of it in any way other than to increase your rankings in general (since I’m assuming the percentage of users who are affected is small) but it’s something you should definitely be aware of for your own research if you had been using this shortcut.