"W. E. Collins" and "S. Ign." were totally unrelated searches that I'd experienced recently, so conjoining them would not have helped me. I just tried "S. Ing." and it _did_ drop the punctuation. When I searched using a number range delimitation of 1500 AD to 1800 AD, 1-800 was highlighted as a match; my experience is that Google strips punctuation, and ignores it in it's results; "s-ing" and "using" (with the "sing" highlighted) were highlighted results of "S. Ing." S. Ing. was the standard abbreviation in the Catholic Church and academic circles for at least three hundred years, but you won't find it in the online abbreviation sites that Google retrieves, and you won't find it in Google's search results. The full item I was searching for was from a holding library label, "Bibl. Prag. S. J. et S. Ing.", the poster had wanted to know what that meant. Searching the whole phrase pulled up one hit in the one search engine I found anything on, and that was the book the OP had seen. S. J. is the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits; _that_ search Google returned it as the first hit. With it being a library ID label, Bibl. is Biblioteca, Library, in many variant tongues; it also expands as Bible, Bibliography, Bibliographic. Prag. is most likely the city of Prague, it was a standard abbreviation, and the other possible expansions of Prag. that I could confirm were ridiculous in context. Documenting defunct libraries is tough; while there is an extant library in Prague that was founded by the Jesuits, a rather famous library, as far as I could tell it never used that designation; that doesn't mean it didn't, because I couldn't find anything solid about what it used to be called, and it changed management when the Society of Jesus was disbanded; the current Society of Jesus is the second creation of that order, there's a period where it didn't exist. The modern library associations don't concern themselves with libraries that no longer exist, at least not on their web sites; they focus on library education and advocacy, improving the viability of modern libraries. I was trying to find documentation outside of my memory for the meaning of the various components of the library ID. Since Google, in my experience with this search, is ignoring punctuation even if it's inside the quotation marks, excluding the false positives becomes difficult; limiting by a term works if you have a lot of false hits for a term, and few positive hits with the term to be excluded, and I used -Colorado with "W. E. Collins" from the start because of a very famous Collins Drive in Colorado (Famous? I'd never heard of it, but 75% of the first page, or so it seemed, referred to it), that's where I hoped the number range delimitation in the Advanced Search form would help by allowing me to limit the results to the time period where the abbreviation was universally in use, but since Google doesn't treat the items in the range field as unitary, and considered 1,800 1-800 and 18.00 the same as 1800, and ads as a match for AD, they were all highlighted in the results, it didn't return only those items with a date in the text between 1500 AD and 1800 AD. Now, what really gets my goat, is some of the sources I was able to verify as having S. Ing. as an abbreviation for St. Ignatius, and for the other search the W. E. Collins I was looking for, are items held by Google Books. Yes, by searching Google Books specifically, they would probably have turned up. The Internet Archive, being a much more focused data set, pulled them up right away. I'm not really surprised Google didn't turn up my W. E. Collins, he's pretty obscure, but S. Ing. for Saint Ignatius isn't something I think of as obscure, not in my fields of interest. Except, Google doesn't have access to the proprietary databases which store the electronic versions of the scholarly journals, nor the proprietary databases which store the converted primary source materials for Renaissance and Early Modern history and culture, just the .pdfs they've created at Google Books, and other open depositories such as the Internet Archive. The items of my search aren't things talked about much on web sites Google can index. They show up in the text of historic documents, and modern conversations use the modern abbreviations unless directly quoting a primary source. It's just frustrating that if I'm researching a computer related term it shows up instantly, if I'm searching for anything relating to modern society it doesn't take that much to narrow down, given the right exclusions and inclusions, but historic information is so much harder to find when using non-unique search terms, since the "free" search engines focus on bringing up the most recent information first, and where possible those items closest to you geographically. Google works for general information of the modern age. For legal information you search LexisNexis, for other things ProQuest, Cengage, and a variety of others which provide access to proprietary databases, and they all charge quite hefty fees for access, such that in general you have to be associated with either a University or a major firm in the field, or have access to the more general of them through a major library.
My experience is that Google does _not_ do a character by character match of what you put inside the " ", they ignore the punctuation, and they will ignore the spacing. I just searched "S. Ing.", the first hit is "Urban Dictionary: s'ing d's"; they ignored the spacing, the capitalization, the punctuation; nothing in that entry was an exact match of my search string. They treat " " as a proximity constraint, the items have to be very close together, in that order, but since they ignore punctuation and spacing not exact matches. They do _not_ do a true Boolean search, since they _don't_ do a character by character match, including case and punctuation and spacing. Doesn't really matter, in the end, I don't think, other than .pdfs of historic books and journals, that they have access to the databases having information related to these two searches. W. E. Collins only seems to be mentioned in publications of the Cambridge Press for 1890-1893; he had a book in preparation with them that didn't get published. A couple of other mentions in 1890, since his dissertation had won a prestigious award, the revision of it was what Cambridge Press was planning to publish as part of their Cambridge Historical Essays series; a search on "Cambridge Historical Essays" on Google does bring up most of the series as .pdfs, including the ones mentioning W. E. Collins; it also brings up "Cambridge : Historical Essays" as the first hit, again ignoring punctuation. I've sent an email to the Archivist at Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he got his degree, to see if they had any further info on him, such as his full name, but haven't heard anything back, nor do I really expect to. S. Ing., at the Internet Archive, pulled up a lot of documents; the Internet Archive _does_ seem to pay attention to punctuation and spacing inside of " ", as well as being composed of a higher percentage of relevant documents. But a lot of those documents are also in Google Books, and Google should have pulled them up with a true " " treatment.