It's worth noting not all special characters are removed, for example C# and C++ (programming languages) return results, $ returns results, etc.

However, I tried searching for a code segment that I use in ASP.Net "<%#" and it returned no results. I tried searching "<%# in ASP" and it returned the same results it would have if I had searched just "in ASP". So it was clearly ignoring special characters.

I searched around and only found this thread on the topic Search including special characters and other normally ignored symbols/words where the only reasoning is at a 404'd link. It does explain however that they include spcecial charcters that are associated with "popular terms". That link also shows that many users hate this experience as it leads to results they didn't want.

I assume implementation isn't the issue as it is Google, the most used (and probably best funded) search engine out there. So what is the reasoning behind leaving those searches out? Why include them when only when used in "popular terms"? What benefit would that have to a user?

  • When you say implementation, are you referring to thwarting potential hackers who are attempting to inject code into the search input?
    – Andy
    Sep 4, 2015 at 20:57
  • That being the main one yes, Google should have no problem sanitizing input before running it through the search algorithm.
    – DasBeasto
    Sep 4, 2015 at 21:08
  • 1
    Things have changed: androidpolice.com/2017/03/02/…
    – Oskar Skog
    Jul 1, 2017 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


I suspect it largely has something to do with the fact that those special operators are used for specific Google query purposes, and take precedence over code notation. From Google's own documentation:

google search operator table

Also, this thread offers a variety of workarounds to this issue, in case you were curious.

  • Therefore google should recognize he does not want that <% hashtag on twitter and be more intuitive,google should know better Sep 5, 2015 at 7:52

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