When searching on Google the query function* js, Google regards '*' as a placeholder to a word instead of a normal character. How do you get it to treat Asterisks normally?



The * Operator Use *, an asterisk character, known as a wildcard, to match one or more words in a phrase (enclosed in quotes).

Each * represents just one or more words. Google treats the * as a placeholder for a word or more than one word. For example, [ “Google * my life“ ] tells Google to find pages containing a phrase that starts with “Google” followed by one or more words, followed by “my life.” Phrases that fit the bill include: “Google changed my life,” “Google runs my life,” and “Google is my life.”

[ “Google * my life“ ]

If you know there’s a date on the page you’re seeking but you don’t know its format, specify several common formats using the OR operator. For example:

[ California election “Oct * 2003“ OR “10/*/03“ OR “October * 2003“ ]

When you know only part of the phrase you wish to find, consider using the * operator. Find the title of Sherry Russell’s book that can help you deal with the tragedies of 9/11 or losing a loved one.

[ “Conquering the * and * of Grief“ ]

Proximity searching can be useful when you want to find pages that include someone’s name in any of the following orders: first middle last, last first middle, first last, last first. To search for “Francis” adjacent or separated one word from “Coppola,” requires four queries:

[ “Francis Coppola“ ] [ “Francis * Coppola“ ] [ “Coppola Francis“ ] [ “Coppola * Francis“ ]

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    That's quite a detailed answer, but it doesn't mention how to treat asterisks as asterisks, rather than wildcards – Gareth Mar 7 '12 at 0:06
  • Generally, punctuation is ignored, including @#$%^&*()=+[]\ and other special characters From Google Help support.google.com/websearch/bin/… – Anagio Mar 7 '12 at 0:13
  • So the non-Google site says in detail how asterisk works as a placeholder, and the google site says it's ignored, so it's not used as a placeholder. I think the answer is then "it's not used as a placeholder, it's ignored". Do you want to edit your answer to say that? – paulmorriss Mar 7 '12 at 10:08
  • @paulmorriss if you click on the Google site's exceptions link. It clearly says "Fill in the blanks (*) The *, or wildcard, is a little-known feature that can be very powerful. If you include * within a query, it tells Google to try to treat the star as a placeholder.." Read more support.google.com/websearch/bin/… Do you want to edit your comment? – Anagio Mar 7 '12 at 10:24
  • So it is used as a placeholder. I wish Google would make up their mind. However you still need to answer the original question "how do I get it to treat asterisks normally?" – paulmorriss Mar 7 '12 at 10:32

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