Better results

I read another one of those posts yesterday from, well I’d rather not mention the name, of a bunch of shortcuts that you can use with Google Search to make you a “master searcher”, whatever that is.

You know, advice like 

  • do your search inside quotations for exact results “<blah, blah, blah>”
  • related:<blah, blah, blah>
  • site:<blah, blah, blah>
  • link:<blah, blah, blah>

I do have some of these committed to memory and they can be helpful if searching from the URL bar in your favourite browser.  That’s pretty much become standard.

But there’s a better way that I’ve always used.  Instead of going to the basic search page, most search engines have a pretty sophisticated Advanced Search page that makes learning all the cryptic codes somewhat less important.

So, if you’re a Google user, instead of going to http://www.google.ca and getting this:

I’ll have bookmarked the Google Advanced search at: https://www.google.ca/advanced_search and get this instead:

This is just part of the form that’s presented.  Scrolling reveals even more options to help zero in on exactly what I’m searching for.

One bookmark and I’m there.  None of those modifiers to remember.

There actually used to be a link, if I remember correctly, on the base page to take you to the Advanced_Search page.  I don’t see it any more – maybe it’s ultimately going to go away? – but for now, I’m more interested in getting the results that I want rather than memorizing a list of things so that I could use one or two of them to help me search.

Do you have a great technique for successful search?  I’d love to hear it.

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