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! 🙂