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Getting Around the 10 Word Limit
There are some clever ways around Google's limit of 10 words to a query.

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[03/13/03 | Discuss (33) | Link to this hack]

Unless you're fond of long, detailed queries, you might never have noticed that Google has a hard limit of 10 words—that's keywords and special syntaxes combined—summarily ignoring anything beyond. While this has no real effect on casual Google users, search-hounds quickly find this limit rather cramps their style.

Whatever shall you do?

Playing the Wildcard

Help comes in the form of Google's full-word wildcard (Hack #13). It turns out that Google doesn't count wildcards toward the limit.

So when you have more than 10 words, substitute a wildcard for common words like so:

"do as * say not as * do" quote origin English usage

Presto! Google runs the search without complaint and you're in for some well-honed results.


Common words such as "I," "a," "the," and "of" actually do no good in the first place. Called "stop words," they are ignored by Google entirely. To force Google to take a stop word into account, prepend it with a + (plus) character, as in: +the.

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