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Chapter 3. Basic Search Tools > Dealing with Stopwords

Dealing with Stopwords

You may come across the term stopwords at search engine sites, often in the help information or search tips. Stopwords are words that search engines ignore because they are too common, or because they are reserved for some special purpose.

The list varies from one search engine to the next, but it typically includes words like a, an, any, the, to, with, from, for, of, that, who, and the Boolean operators AND, OR, NOT, and NEAR. We're not aware of any major search engine that publishes its complete list. But Google does the next best thing—it tells you if it has ignored one or more of the words in your query (Figure 3.13).


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