Google: Finding the Good Stuff

Sure Google is a great place to find things on the Internet. But choosing the proper keywords is only the first step to the Road to Know Where.
SPEELING DOESN’T MATTER: Google will offer to correct your spelling. In fact I rely on this feature and don’t care if I sloppily type something in wrong, I know it will correct my spelling.
CAPITALIZATION DOESN’T MATTER: Google keywords are not case sensitive.
BASIC KEYWORD GUIDELINES: You can have great luck typing an entire sentence; but 2 or 3 carefully chosen keywords should be adequate. Don’t be vague. The keywords “baseball strike” will show both the “wooden item used to hit baseballs” as well as a “Union Walkout.”
THINK JEOPARDY: You’re looking for an “answer” not your “question”; so ask your question in the form of an answer. Articles will probably not have a question like “How do I change the system clock?” it will more likely have the answer “To change the system clock”
QUOTE ME! Placing your keywords inside of quotes searches for that exact phrase. The longer the phrase, the quicker you can narrow down your website selections.
+keyword (meaning "and") Google already tries to match ALL your keywords. But there are times when you need to “anchor” a specific keyword.
+jazz piano guitar Must show all sites with the keyword “jazz”, and include the keywords “piano” and/or “guitar”
keywordA OR keywordB Works just like it does in English! You’re simply choosing between two keywords. [Note: the word “or” must be capitalized “OR”.]
vacation hawaii OR tahiti Shows all sites with the keyword “vacation”, and include keywords “piano” or “guitar”
–keyword (meaning "not") Searching can yield strange results. If you’re a musician looking for information on the bass, you’ll probably also be shown websites dealing with bass fishing!
bass –fish –fishing Must show all sites with the keyword “bass”, but NOT include the keywords “fish” and “fishing”
~keyword (meaning "synonym") Sometimes your keyword has many synonyms, so you’ll us the “~” to broaden your search results.
+puzzles ~children  Must show all sites with the keyword “puzzles”, and include the synonyms for the keyword “children” (kids, toddler etc). [Note: how we can also include the + (and) command]
SEARCH WITHIN RESULTS is located (more like hidden) at the bottom of your search results page. This allows you to easily refine your search.
AdWords: Companies pay money for “Sponsored Links” to be prominently displayed on your search results. If they’re so good, why didn’t they appear in my search results anyway? Ignore the AdWords!
PREFERENCES: While they have silly language selections like Pig Latin and Klingon, here’s where you change the parental SafeSearch filter to “G-Rated” [Note: Located next to the search field.]
ADVANCED SEARCH: Of course; simply using Google’s Advanced Search is no shame. Here you can still easily narrow your searches by:
  • Contain ALL your keywords 
  • Contain an exact phrase
  • Contain at least one of your keywords
  • Do NOT contain any of your keywords
  • Written in a foreign language
  • Created in a specific file format (doc, pdf, ppt, ps, rtf, xls)
  • Updated within a certain period of time
  • Within a specific domain or website
  • Ensure there’s no "adult" material
  • Find “similar” webpages
ROAD TO KNOW WHERE: While Google’s Advanced Search surely makes things easier – Fagan Finder’s “Google Ultimate Interface” makes it even easier! 🙂

About blakehandler

BLAKE was a Microsoft MVP and award winning programmer with over 20+ years experience providing complete Windows and networking support for small to medium sized businesses. BLAKE is also Jazz Musician and Instructor for residential clients on the Los Angeles West Side.
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1 Response to Google: Finding the Good Stuff

  1. Bob says:

    Great site and great info.  I really appreciate it!!!
    I would like to challenge the Adwords statement.: 
    AdWords: Companies pay money for “Sponsored Links” to be prominently displayed on your search results. If they’re so good, why didn’t they appear in my search results anyway? Ignore the AdWords! 
    I would agree partially if you are looking for some specific technology information.   As a small business you may not always be able to rank high in the search engine for all your products, or all the keywords that someone may use to come to your site to buy something.  WE carried 2000+/- products and the optimization is HUGE with products ooming and going.  That is where Adwords come in.  You are able to extend our range through paid or sponsored ads.  I believe that is some cases the spnsored results are as relevant, or more relevant, than the organic searches.  If I am looking to purchase Wildife Lamps, the sponsored results will usually show the sellers of wildife lamps.  The organic searches could show a lot of different things relative to my desire to purchase wildlife lamps.  Not that people can’t "game" the sponsored searches :)  But then nobody ever games the organic searches.  Look at some of the results that are literally crap.  To say ignore the sponsored searches is over the top and they could and should be looked at as a good source of finding what you want in your search as the orgnaics.  Look thru them with the same critical eye.  They do provide good information, someone just chooses to pay for anyone that clicks onto their site.

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