With the recent rising popularity of the social networking website Twitter, you would think that Google’s search engine would incorporate the “@” symbol into their system. If you haven’t tested it out before, Google actually doesn’t acknowledge that symbol whenever it is included into a search query. This poses a problem whenever a person is searching for a person’s twitter account since all twitter account names begin with the “@” symbol. The symbol has also become a mode of “tagging” wherein any given subject is “tagged” for other people’s notification.

In this video, a representative from Google addresses this very concern. He explains why this was part of the original programming and why it hasn’t changed in recent years. The reason he gives is that the exclusion of the symbol was indeed deliberate so as to avoid it being associated with email addresses. Just like with Twitter, email addresses are often associated with the “@” symbol. Since searching for email addresses through Google is dangerous and ill advised, the programmers opted to remove the symbol from the index. The reason they haven’t incorporated it into the system in recent years is that they simply haven’t gotten much demand for it. Perhaps if more users have the same complaint, they could make the change.


Why is the @ character ignored in search queries? –