Helpful tips on searching Google effectively?
Dave, any tips on how to get the best possible search results from Google? I spend a lot of time using Google and seem to have a hard time finding just what I want...
Maybe Google's not the fabled "Alice's Restaurant", but you really can get just about anything you want with the right search query.
There are three key concepts that can help you find the right results quickly and accurately: site constraints, larger searches and appropriate negative keywords.
One great way to chop lots and lots of useless results from a search is to constrain the search to a specific vendor or type of site by using the "site:" prefix. To only search my site for information on a specific application called "flock", for example, I'd use the Google search pattern:
to look on all military sites for articles about the White House:
site:.mil white house
Use more words, not less, when you do a search. It'll help you zero in on the specific information you want. Looking for a new driver so you can get your HP printer to talk with your Windows XP system, for example? Try
hp laserjet 2100tn driver "windows xp"
Note my use of quotes there too: if you quote a set of words then they have to appear exactly as-is as a phrase. Oh, on this last one I'd also probably have added "site:hp.com", but be a bit careful with that because sometimes companies have more than one domain for their Web sites.
Use negative matches to narrow down your results too. If you do a search for "ipod battery" to find do-it-yourself information and find that there are lots of matches that are irrelevant because they want to sell you their own battery replacement service, you
You can use as many negative keywords as you'd like too, so just as using more words helps you narrow down your search quickly, so will saying what you don't want included in the results can help you get the most out of not just Google, but any digital search
And remember to use successive refinement: every time you do a search, experiment with adding positive or negative keywords and watch how your experience with the search engines change, in a very good way!
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