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Mercola.com Search Tips

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How to Use Mercola.com Search

Using Mercola.com Search is simple. Type the term you’re looking for in the search box and click the Search button or hit Enter to get the results of your query. In this article, square brackets are used to indicate a search query, for example [krill oil].


Mercola.com Search searches are NOT case sensitive. Searches for [heart disease], [Heart Disease], and [HeArT dISeaSe] will all generate the same results.

Automatic "and" queries

By default, Mercola.com Search only returns pages that include all of your search terms. There is no need to include "and" between terms. Keep in mind that the order in which the terms are typed will affect the search results. Just include more terms to further restrict a search. For example, to look for the effects sunlight has on cancer, simply type [sunlight cancer].

Optional and automatically excluded words

Mercola.com Search usually returns pages that use all of the words you put in your query. However, if some of the words in your search don't appear on the most relevant pages, we'll also consider pages that don't include them. For example, when you search for a recipe for [a protein shake], we might return recipes that don't happen to include the words "for" or "a."

Very common words (often called "stopwords"), such as "the," "and," or "of," are usually dropped from searches because they typically don't convey much information compared to the other words in a search. We might also treat words as optional if they're redundant given the other words in your search. For example, in [UV sun protection], requiring "UV" to appear might exclude high quality pages, so we may exclude "UV" in compiling your results.

Even when words are treated as optional, they're still taken into account in assessing how relevant a page is to your query.

Generally, excluding common words allows us to return better search results. If one of these words is important to your search, you can precede it with a plus sign "+" to ensure that Mercola.com Search  matches it exactly as you typed it and makes it appear in every search result. For example, a search for [+The No Grain Diet] will only return results that include the word "the." A search for [tanning +beds] will only return pages that are talking about the plural term as opposed to [tanning bed].

Alternate words

Mercola.com Search usually returns pages that use all of the words you included in your query. In some cases, we'll consider other words as substitutes if we think that doing so will improve the results we generate. For example, if you search for [exercise programs], Mercola.com

Search's results might include pages that talk about an [exercise program]. On the result pages, we'll highlight occurrences of both the original and alternate search terms that appear in titles and snippets.

There are several ways Mercola.com Search identifies alternate words:

  • Stemming finds alternate forms of a word, such as singular or plural variations.
  • Synonyms can help someone searching for [Vitamin D supplements] find pages that mention [Vitamin K supplements].
  • Abbreviations expand search terms so that [nt program] might also find pages about [nutritional typing program].
  • Words might be combined or split so that we return pages about [multi vitamin] when you enter [multivitamin].
  • Because it's often easier to type words without accents, a search for a [coup d'etat] might return pages that talk about a [coup d'état].

Phrase searches

Sometimes you'll only want results that include an exact phrase. In this case, simply put quotation marks around your search terms.

Phrase searches are particularly effective if you're searching for proper names ["Joseph Mercola"], lyrics ["the long and winding road], or other famous phrases ["All truth goes through three phases"].

Negative terms

If your search term has more than one meaning (for example, [bass] could refer to fishing or music) you can focus your search by putting a minus sign ("-") in front of words related to the meaning you want to avoid.

For example, here's how you'd find pages about bass-heavy lakes, but not bass-heavy music: [bass -music].

Note: when you include a negative term in your search, be sure to include a space before the minus sign.

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