It doesn’t have to be that way.
As I mentioned before, I’m a hopeless information geek. I went to grad school in Information Science fer cryin out loud. Plus, I’ve spent a significant chunk of my career getting paid to do research. Let’s just say I know a lot about hunting down information using that series of tubes that make up the internets.
Raise Your Google IQ with Two Simple Keystrokes:
1. [shift key]
2. [ ” key]
A single quotation mark at the beginning of a phrase will ensure you only get hits for pages that contain that exact phrase. Otherwise, you’ll end up with hits for any pages that happen to have those words — even if there’s twenty paragraphs of text in between them.
More Signal, Less Noise.
Why don’t people do this every time they search?
Partly because no one ever told them about phrase searching. And partly because search engines are designed to guess what it is you’re looking for, and they place their best guesses toward the top. For a phrase that’s uncommon (like “practical archivist”) it’s not even necessary. For example, this blog shows up in the #1 spot whether you use quotes or not.