Thursday, March 24, 2005

Googling

Google has changed the way we work. Probably, it has been the largest influence on the Internet since Hotmail and Amazon. Personally, I find it easier to look for information I need from google than the local copy stored on my PC, and most often this is the faster approach. But finding information fast on the Internet than on local PC is possible probably because I feel searching rather easy. And I have made my job easier by adding a search form on my home page, which is a local page. Here I would like to share a few basic things about searching with Google.
  • When you are in real hurry, you can save a few seconds by typing your query directly in the address bar. Prepend "www.google.com/search?q=" to your query text. It will fetch the results directly. This, of course, uses all the defaults. If you want language selection and content filtering etc, better use the full syntax generated by the site.
  • Use keywords rather than complete phrases. e.g. Festivals India is likely to fetch more precise results than "Indian festivals"
  • Use exact error message if you are looking for its description and put it under double quote. e.g. "Router:Failed to connect to SMTP host". This is more likely to bring up relevent pages than queries based on keywords such as Router Error SMTP failure
  • Google by default does an AND on the tokens in the query text, i.e. it will try to find pages with all the tokens in the query text. If you want to change that, use specific boolean operators.
  • While submitting a complete phrase or sentence for search, google omits commonly used words. Use a plus symbol (+) to include them in the search.
  • Sometimes you remember having seen a page on a particular site with specific information that you need now. Instead of visiting the site and going thru all the pages one by one, use google to do the job. Prepend your query text with "site:www.siteaddress.com". That syntax causes google to search for the query text only in the pages cached from that site. If Google has cached pages from that site, it will be hundreds times faster and precise than finding the information by manually searching that site yourself.
  • You may use Google as a thesaurus. When uncertain about what a word might mean, you may ask Google to define terms/phrases for you. Use this URL: www.google.com/search?q=define:Your_Search_Term
Google is much more than just a search engine. Watch out this space. I will be bringing more of Google to you.

5 comments:

Partha said...

Ranjeet
YOU must be knowing that we can search a particular site alone in google, anyway this is the way to do it

In the search field just give this:

festivals of india site:http://www.rediff.com

- Partha

Ranjeet Rain said...

Glad to have you here Partha. I included this in the tip already. Thanks for contributing :)

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