I was just wondering, do LaTeX in titles or the body of questions affect if they show up in google search?

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ I am loath to do this, but consider the following web pages on the differences between "affect" and "effect": 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. If you mean "to change the behaviour of" in each case the conclusion is that "affect" is the proper verb to use in this question. $\endgroup$ – user642796 Jun 3 '13 at 5:25

LaTeX titles, etc. certainly affect Google search results. For a very obvious example, search for "$\sec^3 x \, dx$" site:math.stackexchange.com.

This demonstrates that Google looks at the raw LaTeX code, not the rendered result. (This is somewhat obvious after thinking about it, but it can be somewhat easy to overlook.) This means that you can search Google using LaTeX formatting, but you should note that it won't always be very accurate.

Example queries to try:

"$\sec^3 x \, dx$" site:math.stackexchange.com (From above)
differentiate x^x site:math.stackexchange.com
\frac{d}{dx} e^x site:math.stackexchange.com

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Of course, Google is not sufficiently smart to recognize that, say, $\int u d{u}$ and $\int v \mathrm dv$ are effectively the same. $\endgroup$ – J. M. ain't a mathematician Jun 3 '13 at 1:57
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ That is very true. (The change of variables is more problematic than the extraneous characters, though.) $\endgroup$ – apnorton Jun 3 '13 at 3:16
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ My guess would be that searching for differentiate "x^x" site:math.stackexchange.com might yield better results than differentiate x^x site:math.stackexchange.com. I think that symbols like ^ in the search string are more or less equivalent to putting space there. $\endgroup$ – Martin Sleziak Jun 3 '13 at 6:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .