The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) worked together to create standards for the technology that powers web sites. Acronyms dear to my heart like CSS, HTML, and HTTP came from their defining how web browsers and web servers should behave in various situations. It made the Web a better place.
Every time I find myself extremely frustrated searching for something and failing because the methods I know are not working really annoy me. I wish the W3C or companies that specialize in search would come together and establish minimum standards.
That said, I think 97% of my searching would be successful if places would consistently honor:
- Double quotes: The ” symbol surrounding a phrase should make the interior honored as a single phrase. We use it because the terms individually are relatively common and bring up false positives. Combining them in this way narrows the search to what we seek. In my opinion, this is a must have feature.
- Boolean: The AND, OR, and NOT commands along with parentheses () are powerful means of finding relevant results. Searching Twitter is easy because the search company they bought did such a great job leveraging Boolean.