How to Make Google Show You the Good Search Results Again

Google has gotten worse at showing us useful search results. Take, for example, a search for the term "kelvin" — a unit of measurement for temperature. Google is likely to give you a results page full of articles about how to save money in a 401(k) account. These off-target search results are getting more and more common, and we can only lay part of the blame on the results being cluttered with AI-generated junk and human-generated headlines to entice people to click on a link. Here’s the reason this happens in the first place: Google tries to be helpful by searching for words that are similar to those you are searching for. Sometimes that's useful, but lately those adjustments seem to have gotten a lot broader, giving us off-target search results. There used to be an easy fix — put your word in quotes — but that doesn't seem to work anymore. So, what can you do to get good results back? One option is to turn on "verbatim mode." On the search results page, look for a menu that says Tools. On desktops, it's located on the far right side of the page, to the right of any buttons suggesting related searches or different categories of search (images, shopping, etc.). On mobile phones, it's underneath the search box where you’ll see those “images, shopping…” categories. Put your finger on those words and swipe to the left; at the end of the row, on the far right, you’ll see Search tools. After tapping Tools or Search tools, you’ll see a drop-down labeled All results. Click or tap on this, and you’ll see the option Verbatim. That Verbatim feature under Tools is the key to searching for the words you actually typed in. We can’t promise anything about the quality of the pages you’ll land on, but at least you’ll get a more targeted selection.