Online research techniques,Search engine tips

Search engine search techniques

11 Jan , 2014  

The Internet, one of the greatest inventions of human history has made searching for any information only a matter of few clicks or keyboard hits. It is surprising that how you can search for any information using the Internet. The search engines are most loved way to find any information on the web. We all use web to get help in our school/college projects or crucial company presentations. There is huge data on the web you can search for. Google indexes more than 60 trillion individual pages and count is constantly growing.
The ease of data availability also brings problems. One of the biggest problems is to find accurate and the best resources. For example, if you search on Google using keywords “web development firm” you will get about 167,000,000+ results. No one would like to go through millions of links to find the desired result. Here are few search engine techniques that will help you to find desired results for your search query on the web.

Know what you exactly want

The Internet is like an ocean of information and when you don’t know where you want to go, you’ll end up anywhere. So before starting research on any topic, be clear with your research objective. For example, if you want to search for a web development company, ask yourself if you would like that company to be in your own city or it does not make a difference. It is a good idea to use your city’s name along with your search query if you want to find a company in your local area.

Use most relevant keywords

When you know what exactly you want out of your research, use most relevant keywords for your search on any search engine. For example, when you want to search for 19th century cars, use keywords “19th century cars” rather using “old cars” to get better results.

Words that search engines ignore

There are many words that are ignored by search engines to speed up the search. Words like “a”, “in” “ie” etc. are ignored by search engines. You may find a list of these words here. Try to avoid these words when searching for something. It would be wastage of time using these words while searching on any search engine. You also don’t need to be specific about punctuation as most of the search engines ignore them. However there are some exceptions to it, for example, if you search for 987*62 in Google; it will display calculator results for it. Generally search engines ignore punctuation and special characters; however there is a growing list of punctuations and special characters that recognized in Google search.

Try advanced search

The search engines like Google and Yahoo offer advanced search options. You can use the options on advanced search page to create a very specific search. Both Google advance search and Yahoo advance search give you a number of options to get particular search results. You can narrow your results based on your preferred language, region, domains, exact words or phrases etc.

Search operators

Search operators are words or symbols that give you more control over the results you see. There are a number of search operators that you can use to get better search results. Some useful search operators are mentioned below:
Exact phrase: If you want to search pages that include exact word or phrase you use quotes (“”) to surround your key words. For example if you need pages that include phrase “content writing services” you search surrounding keywords with quotes, i.e.:
“content writing services”
It will bring up pages that include words “content writing services”.
Exclude a word: By adding a dash (-) sign to a word you can exclude that word from the search results. For example, searching for:
Smartphone –samsung
will show results of pages that contain word Smartphone but not Samsung.
Similar words: If you want to search for a word and its all synonymous you use tilde (~) sign. For example, searching for :
~mobile phone
will show pages that include word phone as well as synonymous words, cell, cellular etc.
Search for multiple words: When you want to search pages that include either word from your keywords you use capitalized (OR). For example, searching for:
China OR India OR US
will bring up pages that include word China or India or US.
Numerical ranges: When you want to search for some specific numeric range, you use two dot signs (..). For example, you want to search for smartphones ranging from $100 to $200; you will search:
smartphones $100..$200
and get the results that contain information about smartphones ranging from $100 to $200. It can also be used for dates and measurements.
Search from a site: If you want search results from a single site, you can use operator (site:). For example, searching for:
soccor site:youtube.com
will show you results about soccor from youtube.com
Search similar sites: If you want to search similar sites to a website, you can use operator (related:). For example, searching for:
related:google.com
will show all other search engines similar to google.com like, yahoo and bing.
Search pages that link to a website: When you use operator (link:) you find all pages that have linked to a specific domain name. For example, searching for:
link:twitter.com
will show sites that link to twitter.com
Search by file type: When you are looking for a specific file type, operator (filetype:) helps. For example, search for:
content writing filetype:pdf
will show the results of pdf files related to content writing.
There are few other search operators that help you in getting better at research. Google answers many of your questions directly. For example, searching for:
when is good Friday in 2014
will show you date at the top.
Good Friday 2014
In the same way you can ask Google for top movies of 2013 or places to visit in Delhi.
Google search tips and tricks
Google search tips and tricks



Useful links:
Google search tips and tricks
Bing’s advanced search operators
Yahoo search operators
Web Searching Tips

Rajdeep Singh

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