I have long been irritated by the lack of proximity searching, eg words in the same paragraph, on Google. Now I am seeing a significant number of people arriving at Wordblog only to be disappointed because the words they have searched for are in different posts.
Proximity searching as defined by Wikipedia allows searching for keywords that are found near each other. The entry says that at the time (February this year) only one engine Exalead offered this facility.
Other than that you can use wildcards in Google or Yahoo or by defining a number of characters in Walhello, all of which are cumbersome and of limited use. The Exalead proximity search is more flexible finding documents where words are within 16 words of each other.
So why aren’t those wizards at Google doing something similar or better? Are they losing sight of their core product, searching, while dreaming up a stream of new lines?