Often times, I find myself searching for specific information before I start a new project. This is a simple tutorial on how to use Google to find anything related to knitting on the internet or here on your favorite forum
[B][U]Searching for Something Specific on a Forum or Website[/U][/B]
Ever noticed how the search function on most forums and websites is a little limited? Lucky for us, we can easily use the power of Google to get a much more expansive search.
Simply use the following search operator:
See how in the picture above we are searching for our term, and only the results from this forum are returned. Now we can further refine our search by asking Google to restrict the results to posts that were made within a certain time frame or those that do not contain certain words.
[B][U]Finding Other Pages and Websites that are Related[/U][/B]
Suppose that we’ve found a website that has the kind of content that we’ve been searching for, but we’d like to see what else is out there. The following Google operator will allow us to search for other websites that are related:
This operator can also be used for specific pages within a site. I found an article on Wikipedia that talks about the World Wide web. When I search for related URLs;
Google now returns a list of pages that are related to this webpage based on the keywords found in the article. This is especially useful when you have a webpage with a very broad title, but content that is very specialized.
Sometimes you’re not completely sure what you’re searching for. In these cases, we can place an asterisk in place of the missing term. For example, if I type in:
How to diagnose *
I will be presented with pages of search results on how to diagnose anything from autism to a faulty clothes dryer. You can use as many wildcards in a search string as you want.
[B][U]Using Negative Keywords[/U][/B]
Occasionally your search results will be littered with a recurring page or term that you don’t want. For instance, when searching for medical related terms, sometimes you will get flooded with spammy offshore pharmacy sites. Instead of sifting through them all, simply run your search again, but this time you can add a minus symbol followed by the term you don’t want:
statin drugs -pharmacy
[B][U]Searching for Files[/U][/B]
You can get a lot of [B]free[/B] files on any given subject by using the file operator along with your search term:
statin drugs filetype:pdf statin drugs filetype:ppt statin drugs filetype:doc
[B][U]Broad Match vs Phrase Match[/U][/B]
I find that phrase match searches are the most useful search operative because they allow you to really pull much more specific results. Lets say we enter the search term
top 10 reasons for failure
The results we are presented with are the pages that contain some mixture of these terms within their content, but not necessarily pages that contain this exact phrase. This is what’s called a broad match search, and Google tells us that it has found over 117 million pages. That’s a lot of pages to sift through.
However, if we place the search string in quotation marks:
“top 10 reasons for failure”
We get only the pages that have this exact phrase, or a very close variation of it. And because our requested search term was so specific, Google only found 5 thousand matches.