- Internet & the Web»
- Search Engines
Smarter Searching With Google
With over 30 trillion web pages indexed, 100 billion queries a month in 2012, Google has become, and is the most popular search engine on the World Wide Web. Here is a few ways to improve your search.
A query, or keywords you type in a search box, is a request for information from a search engine. A query consists of one or more words, numbers, or phrases that you will find in the search results listings. This is simply what you type in the search box.
The search terms, or keywords you enter and the order in which you enter them, will affect both the order and pages that appear in your search results. Use words that are likely to appear on the pages you are searching . Try to avoid using a question as a query. This will not necessarily find pages answering your question. To find out if there is cheap hotels in Boston, do not type does Boston have cheap hotels type Boston cheap hotels.
When Google's search engine detects very common words such as where, do, I, for, how, on and a it ignores them. These are known as stop words. Google publishes a complete list.
If you’re searching for pages that contain a stop words you need to force Google to match a term exactly by enclosing the term in quotation marks. If you’re searching for the book How the Grinch Stole Christmas you’re result may not necessarily contain what you’re looking for, specifically the book. Type in your search instead Book “How the Grinch stole Christmas”. Quotation marks or double quotes is also known as a search operator. A search operator is simply a command that is used to broaden or narrow a search. There are many search operators, listed below are a few that I find most helpful and easy to use.
Quotation marks can also be used around phrases, proper names and lists.
- The - Operator The - sign indicates that you want to subtract or exclude pages that contain a specific term. Do not put a space between the - and the word. When you query Patriots you get the football team in your results. When you query Patriots –football you get different results. By adding –football you’re excluding pages that contain the term football.
- The ~ Operator The The tilde operator works best when applied to terms and general terms with many synonyms. The tilde ~ operator takes the word immediately following it and searches both for that specific word and for the word’s synonyms. It also searches for the term with alternative endings. The tilde operator works best when applied to general terms and terms with many synonyms. Put the ~ tilde next to the word, with no spaces between the ~ and its associated word.
- The .. Operator This will specify results contain numbers in a range by specifying two numbers, separated by two periods, with no spaces. Antique desk $200..$300This will specify that you are searching in the price range of $200 to $300.
- The * Operator Use an asterisk character to match one or more words in a phrase. Each * represents just one or more words. Google treats the * as a placeholder for a word or more than one word. “Facebook * my life”. You may get results like facebook changed my life, facebook ruin my life, facebook is my life. When you know only part of the phrase you wish to find you can use the * operator. I have not * fight . You will get results such as “John Paul Jones”, you will get the quote " I have not yet begun to fight".
- The Define: Operator Include a word or phrase immediately after the operator define: to find the definition of said word or phrase. This works Just like a dictionary.
There are many more operaters and much more advanded methods and techniques of "googling". For now try combining one or more operators in you query and note the changes in your results.
Click on the I'm feeling lucky button on Google’s home page to go directly to the first result for your query, Instead of showing you a list of pages. This will be the result most relevant to your query. I'm feeling lucky doesn’t consider the various sponsored links on the first results page, which are paid advertisements, when deciding where to take you. The I’m Feeling Lucky button will send you to what Google considers the most relevant result that is not a paid advertisement.
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