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Articles

  By: SEO Rank
  Published   2004-05-05
  Category   Search Engine   Optimization
  Type   Medium
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Google Advanced Search Tips

Search engines offer the function of advanced search to deliver the most relevant results. Most surfers frequenting search engines overlook these options. If used as suggested, one can cut down results from thousands of irrelevant pages to select useful links. In this case study we are going to cover some points of searching using Google.

Basic Tips on Google Search
Advanced Search procedure using operators in Google
Google Main Features
Advanced Search Features in Google
Google Labs
About Froogle

Basic Google Search Tips:

Most net surfers are not aware of all these basic search functions.

Ref: Basics of Google Search, Advanced Search Made Easy

The following tips are useful:

Default Search: Google search is set to Web Search by default. If you want to change your criteria you can choose from a variety of options, which are described later on this page.
Default Procedure: The default procedure for search displays pages with all typed keywords.
Use of “and”: By default all typed keywords are searched for so there is no need to type “and” between terms.
Common Words: Common words like “how” & “where” are automatically excluded. Single digits are also excluded. This is necessary because it helps speed up the search. Common words can be included by using the “+” sign after a space. This should come after your main keyword.
Keyword Selection: Choose your keywords wisely. Use your logic to locate very specific keywords.For more information, refer to our detailed article on Keyword Research
Use More Keywords: Include more terms to narrow your search
Use of Minus: The minus sign “–” can be used after the keywords to exclude a specific keyword. This keyword is placed after the minus sign. This comes in handy when a word with different meanings could make the search engine come up with irrelevant results.
Use of Tilde: The tilde “~” can be used before the keyword to search for its synonyms as well to make the search more comprehensive. It can be used more than once with more than one keyword.
Use of Quotation Marks: You can also use quotation marks for keywords that you want in a sequence or a phrase. This way the search engine picks up pages only that contain the words as enclosed in the quotation marks.
Capitalization: Google search is not case sensitive. All characters, except the “OR” operator, are understood as lower case only. So you need not worry about capitalization.
Stemming Technology: Ensures that your results are not plural or singular sensitive. This means that you will be served plurals for singular searches and vice-versa. These versions will be highlighted in the piece of text accompanying the displayed links. Google frequently adjusts the stemming algo so results may fluctuate depending on their latest adjustments.
Directory Search: You can use the directory search if you are not sure about the appropriate keywords.

Advanced Search Procedure using Operators in Google

Ref: Google Search Operators, Advanced Search

Operators are special keywords, which Google recognizes and uses for specific searches. Specific operators can be used for searching in Google to increase relevance in displayed results. One can choose a combination of some or all of these operators to narrow down results. Usually only a special web-tool can extract such results. To make search more user-friendly, Google offers this facility directly from the search bar.

Special Operators for Google Search:

link: To find out how many links point towards you, simply use the link: operator in the main Google search box. Example: The results show all the links that link back to the typed URL.

related: To find pages similar in content to the specified URL. Example:

   
The OR Operator (OR) is used to find at least one from any of the keywords. Example:

    

The Plus Operator (+) To find web pages that contain the term to be searched. The following example would return links to pages that contain the term www.seorank.com

   

Note that this operator has been used twice in the above example. This is the default syntax for searching for pages that link to a website.

The Minus Operator (-) To exclude certain words from your search, the minus operator can be used. Example:

   

The results will show links to web promotion companies with pages that don’t contain the word “flash”
filetype: If you are searching for a particular file type that contains the information that you want, then this operator can be used. Example:

  

Similarly, when you wish your results to exclude certain file types, you can use the filetype: operator in combination with the minus (-) operator.
allintitle: This is used when the keyword that you are looking for is located in the title of the page. Only websites that have pages titled with your chosen keyword are displayed. Our other article on Title Tag Optimization covers different aspects of working with your web page’s Title Tag Example:

 
allintext: Those pages are picked which have your keywords only in the text content. Read about Optimizing your site’s content in our in-depth article on Search Engine Copywriting. Example:

 

Similarly you can use allinurl:(to search for keywords only in URLs) and allinanchor: (to search for keywords only from links or anchor text on the page.) For more information, you can refer to our article on Anchor Text Optimization.
inurl: This operator is used to search for URLs that contain specific words. The keyword, which is entered immediately after this operator (without a space) picks up all URLs that contain this word. The keyword that comes after that (and a space) is searched for from within the page content. Example:

 

Here all URLs, which contain the word seorank with the word seo in page content, will be shown in the results.
intitle: This operator is used for searching specific words from within titles of pages. Any word that follows after the first keyword will be picked up from within the page content of these pages. Example:

 
cache: when Googlebot indexes a site, it takes snapshots of all indexed pages. This operator helps in viewing cached pages. Example:

 

To further view content of a cached page, you can type the keyword that you are looking for within the cached page. Example:

 
info: This query will extract information that Google has about the link mentioned after this operator. Example:

 
define:This operator can be used to get definitions of specified phrases. All words typed after this operator are treated as a single phrase. Example:

 
stocks: All queries entered after this operator will be treated as stock ticker symbols and pick up content from stock related pages. Please note that only stock ticker symbols and not company names can be used after this operator. Example:

 

The above syntax will extract all stock related info about Microsoft and Intel.
site: To search from within a site only. Example:

 
Results will show links to pages only from within http://www.seorank.com/ that contain the keyword seo. Similarly, to exclude results from a specific site or domain, you can use the site: operator coupled with the minus operator. Example:

 
mac?q To search for anything related to Mac, you can type http://www.google.com/ followed by mac?q followed by the keyword of your choice directly in your browser’s address field.
Example: http://www.google.com/mac?q=seo
linux?q Anything related to Linux can be found using http://www.google.com/ followed by linux?q and the keyword after that from the address bar of your browser.
Example:
http://www.google.com/linux?q=seo

Similarly,

http://www.google.com/bsd?q=seo for enquiries related to Unix only.

http://www.google.com/microsoft?q=seo for Microsoft related search only.

http://www.google.com/unclesam?q=seo for U.S. Govt related search only.

All the above options can help you narrow down your search to very relevant content located on a few links.

Google Main Search Features

Ref: Google Search

Images: Click to go straight to images search page. Type in the topic/subject of the images you want. The results are displayed in thumbnails collected from across the web. You can click on the thumbnails for the image of your choice and it is downloaded to the browser window at the bottom half of your page. Set preferences before you proceed as the safe search filter is set to moderate by default.
Groups: This is a service, which was used when email was not very common. To communicate people would post their comments to specific websites that offered this service. Usenet was one such site.
Google bought Usenet with all their archives that run into millions of pages. These and millions that have and are being added make up what is called Google Groups. Users can log in and access the topic of their choice and read expert views and exchange notes here. This is a massive forum, which covers all topics under the sun.
News: Google news offers you the latest updates. You can search 4500 news resources to satisfy your curiosity.

Google Directory: This is a complete resource of listings for all web resources. The directory has 16 main categories divided into sub categories.

Advanced Search Features

Ref: http://www.google.com/help/features.html#sitesearch

Google offers many advanced tools and features, which help you in your search. The following are worth mention:

Calculator: Can be used to evaluate mathematical expressions.
Phonebook: Us street address and phone number information.
Search by Number: A new service to get you info for package tracking, US. Patents, and other online databases.

Street Maps: Find US. Street maps.

Travel Information: New service for checking status of airline flights weather information etc.
Web Page Translation: Useful tool for getting web pages written in other languages translated to English.

Google Labs

Check out the great tools under construction at http://labs.google.com/

Notable amongst these are:

Google Deskbar . This tool offers the flexibility of search without opening any browser.

Search by Location Lets you search within a geographical area.

Google Sets Another great tool to extend your search. It provides you suggestions by building an incomplete set with your suggested keywords. Linked synonyms and related category keywords are listed in the results.

Google Viewer This is like a search results media player. A player interface is provided at the top with search results scrolling at a custom set pace (toggle from the usable interface)
You can actually view the pages in the player window. Great Tool. Probably the best way to view search results.

Keyboard Shortcuts This can be used to conveniently navigate within results on the page using very simple keyboard shortcuts. Very useful and very easy to learn as shortcuts employ the usage of single keys.

The following tools have graduated from Google Labs and been added to the long list of great regular services being offered by Google:

Google Glossary You can find out the meaning of the keyword along with pages where it is present in one simple search.

Google News Alerts The greatest tool available to get latest updates on topics you choose. You can choose keywords and create customized alerts. Breaking news on these topics will automatically reach your desktop via email as soon as a page containing that keyword is indexed.

About Froogle

If there is anything you are looking to buy, Froogle is an extensive directory that caters to your queries. One can find products in the following categories:

Apparel & Accessories, Arts and entertainment, Auto & Vehicles, Baby, Books, Music & Video, Business & industry, Computers, Electronics, Flowers, Food & Gourmet, Health & Personal Care, Home & Garden, Office, Sports & Outdoors, Toys & Games. This list is further divided into various sub categories. Froogle is a very useful tool for shopping. The listing is enormous and all major players are listed.

There are a number of other tools and services available on Google, which offer complete search solutions for everybody’s web needs. For complete information, visit www.google.com

Related Reading:

http://www.google.com/advanced_search?hl=en
http://www.google.com/help/refinesearch.html
http://www.google.com/help/features.html#link

http://www.google.com/help/index.html

About the author: Jagdeep.S. Pannu (Jerry) is Manager, Online Marketing, at www.seorank.com, a leading Search Engine Optimization services company.

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