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proximity operator

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A proximity operator is a character or word used to narrow search engine results by limiting them to those that have query keywords placed within a specific number of words in the content.

PROXIMITY (or NEAR) gets results for terms which appear in close proximity to one another within the resulting page hit. The specific required distance for this operator is generally down to search    engine defaults.

NOT NEAR (or FAR) is an operator that requires the search terms not be within a default number of words’ distance.

FOLLOWED BY or NOT FOLLOWED BY are operators that return or exclude results for pages where one term directly follows the    other one.

SENTENCE is an operator that requires the searched terms be within the same sentence.

W(#) is a search operator that gets results for pages with terms which are within a number of words distance as specified with a numeral following the operator, such as W(5) for example.

AROUND(#) is an unsupported Google operator that indicates how many words can separate the searched terms, similarly to W(#).

See also: Boolean operator, search string

This was last updated in August 2016

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