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Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 technology  research  practice

A Technology Tip

  • Technology

It is amazing how Google can search the web and find exactly what you are looking for. However, as amazing as Google is, you can do a few things to help it better find the information you are searching for – read on.

These things will help Google find the specific information you are searching for:

  • Use multiple search terms: Narrow your results with more search terms as Google will return only pages that include all of your search terms.
  • Make your search terms as specific as possible to the information you are looking for.
  • Remember Google uses stemming technology which means it will search for words that are similar to your search terms. Thus a search for diet will also include results with diets, dieting, dietary and so on.
  • Google searches are NOT case sensitive. Everything will be understood as lower case, so john smith, John Smith, and JoHn SmItH will all return the same results.
  • To include common words in your search (by default they are not searched) put a space and a “+” sign in front of them e.g., Star Wars, Episode +1. Look in the top right corner of the Results screen to see the words Google searched on.
  • Use a phrase search by using double-quotation marks around two or more search terms. This is really helpful if you’re searching for proper names (“George Washington”), lyrics (“the long and winding road”), famous phrases (“Four score and seven years ago”), and computer error messages (“Maximum_Wait_Objects_Exceeded”).
  • Use negative terms to exclude some pages from your results e.g., London Arkansas –England.
  • Phrase your query in the form of an answer. Think about it: you don’t want Web pages that ask your question, you want pages that answer your question. So instead of typing, Who decided Marbury vs. Madison?, type Marbury vs. Madison was decided by.

And if you want even more ways to tweak your search, on the Google homepage click on Advanced Search for help on more of the searching options Google gives you.

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