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Old 05-25-2009, 05:04 PM
alterego is offline
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HOWTO: Search the SDMB using Google


HOWTO: Search the SDMB using Google
Please post your own useful example searches in this thread. You may also be interested in my Doper RSS guide.

Searching the entire board or within a forum
Note that Google has not yet finished indexing the forums as of this writing.


This is the base query of all other queries.
In order to restrict your search to a forum you must include a plus sign (+) before the name of the forum in quotes. Otherwise Google will interpret your quoted forum string as meaning "Give me all pages related to the forum". Google's relatedness algorithms are extremely fuzzy and return all possible results in the case of the SDMB. Including the plus sign tells Google to "do what I say, not what I mean." Keep in mind that Google does not know what a forum is so the results still contain some fuzz. If you are constructing a url parameter you must encode the plus sign as %2B since a literal plus sign is interpreted as a space by Google:
Searching within active threads

These active thread query constraints are only available as url parameters:

Searching within a date range using daterange

Google has a daterange:start-end parameter but it is difficult to use because it requires Julian dates. You can use this converter from the US Naval Observatory but be sure to hack off the decimal place and everything that follows it since Google only understands the integer portion. Here are a few to get you started. Google's date matching is good but sometimes a bit fuzzy. I'm using "board years" starting on 3-9-99 since thats the day before the first post (in vBulletin) and it was easiest for me:

Searching within thread titles using intitle

There is also an allintitle field but you will probably find intitle sufficient:
Searching for posts written by a particular user

Google can see the "Find all posts by ..." text that is visible after you click on the username associated with a post:
A fuzzer variety of this search uses the inanchor field. Anchor text is simply the text that you see when you look at a hyperlink.
Fuzzier still is a site search for the username.
Example searches

Now that we've got all the pieces they are easy to put together. Here are some examples.

Last edited by TubaDiva; 05-28-2019 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:06 PM
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TIP: If you just use "site:straightdope.com" in your search instead of "site:boards.straightdope.com", it will search all of Cecil's columns and the Staff Reports, in addition to the forums, all at once.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:55 PM
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Thanks, Alterego. This is a great help.
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Old 10-29-2012, 03:42 AM
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I'm having fun using the various search functions listed above, Alterego. Maybe I'm not all that quick on the uptake for certain tech functions; however, I would like to have the google search results come back in either date/time order or reverse date/time order. Is there a way to do that?
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:01 AM
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An excellent contribution to the SDMB stickies! Thank you, alterego!
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:54 PM
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Just a note: Google may flag these searches for a "are you really a human?" test, since they're not the sort of format people usually type out. But other than that they work great.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:42 AM
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Another useful example: find posts by a certain poster in really long threads:

site:boards.straightdope.com "Find all posts by Dave Hartwick" intitle:"stupid gun news"
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:09 PM
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Maybe I missed something in the description on Searches, so here's my question. There is a thread named a_big_thread. The thread runs for over 60+ pages. I want to search for all occurrences of "this_string" in a_big_thread. How would I construct such a search?

Thank you.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:47 PM
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Is there a way to order by date? The information is there (date, post count, number of authors), but I can't seem to find any way to sort the results.

Anything change since Monty asked back in 2012?
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:39 AM
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Anybody know how to Google search for all threads started by a particular author? It would also be useful to order it by date as Rhythmdvl previously asked about.
  #11  
Old 10-01-2014, 02:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhythmdvl View Post
Is there a way to order by date? The information is there (date, post count, number of authors), but I can't seem to find any way to sort the results.

Anything change since Monty asked back in 2012?
I don't see a way to do this sorry.
  #12  
Old 10-01-2014, 02:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Revtim View Post
Anybody know how to Google search for all threads started by a particular author? It would also be useful to order it by date as Rhythmdvl previously asked about.
You can do this with the forum search engine by going to the user profile, clicking statistics and then "Find all posts by *".
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Old 11-10-2014, 12:11 AM
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Sort by date is not impossible. It's just that sometimes it seems to not show some results that it would normally show. I'm not sure what causes this.

First, restrict your results to a time period, by clicking the Search Tools and then clicking the "Any Time" dropdown. (If you choose custom, you can cheat and say something like "After 1998" to search for everything on the board.) On the results screen, click "Sorted by Relevance" and choose "Sorted by Date."

The URL will add the following parameter: &tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:1998,sbd:1

Last edited by BigT; 11-10-2014 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 07-24-2018, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little_Pig View Post
Maybe I missed something in the description on Searches, so here's my question. There is a thread named a_big_thread. The thread runs for over 60+ pages. I want to search for all occurrences of "this_string" in a_big_thread. How would I construct such a search?

Thank you.
Was there ever an answer to this?
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Old 07-24-2018, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullitt View Post
Was there ever an answer to this?
Within the thread, towards the top of the page on the right, there is an option that says "search this thread". If you click on advanced options it will take you to a search page for just that thread.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:42 PM
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Dear Board gurus,

I have been looking for some old posts of mine. When I go to my profile ->statistics-> Find all posts by Noel Prosequi, the search is restricted to the most recent 500.

And if I use the method of Googling set out in the OP, I get a seemingly arbitrary collection of somewhere between 35 or so and 700, but they seem to be arbitrarily displayed. And there are ones that I know are missing, yet ones from very early in my time at the Dope are available.

Is there any trick that will allow me to find a reliably complete list of all my posts?
  #17  
Old 01-12-2019, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noel Prosequi View Post

Is there any trick that will allow me to find a reliably complete list of all my posts?
You have just north of 1300 posts. Search results are limited to 500. If you search by either oldest or newest first, that will get you 1000. If you search by individual forum, that would restrict it even further. With those parameters, you should be able to get everything.

If there is a specific thing you are looking for, let me know and I can assist.
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Old 01-13-2019, 12:49 AM
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Noel Prosequi:

I see your most recent 500 posts go back to 11/2011. To get earlier posts, on lower left of the search page, under "search options", in "find posts from", click on the dropdown and select (in your case) "7 years ago" and "and earlier". The first post found is from 1/13/2011, so there is some unavoidable overlap with this technique. But it does get to what is apparently your first post on 8/8/2006.
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Old 01-14-2019, 08:00 AM
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Thanks to you both.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:54 AM
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It appears that the daterange operator no longer works with Google. Google's support site seems to indicate that the syntax was changed at some point in the past from Julian dates to ISO-style dates, though neither one works for me now. For example, if I search for the word "query" for a certain date range, using either site:boards.straightdope.com daterange:2001-09-10..2001-09-16 "query" or site:boards.straightdope.com daterange:2452163-2452169 "query", then the results I get aren't restricted by date at all.

Does anyone know of a way working method of searching the board for posts/threads in a given arbitrary range (not just "last x years"), using Google or any other public search engine?
  #21  
Old 10-04-2019, 11:05 AM
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Here is a page that references google date searches. I tried a few times but didn't seem to be working all that well.

avengers endgame after:2019-03-01 before:2019-03-05 is the format
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:48 PM
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Thanks. The before: and after: syntax seems to work somewhat, though it still isn't turning up a lot of old posts that I'm sure I made.
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:54 PM
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Thanks. The before: and after: syntax seems to work somewhat, though it still isn't turning up a lot of old posts that I'm sure I made.
Don't forget about the "Winter Of Our Lost Content".
  #24  
Old 10-05-2019, 12:54 AM
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Yeah, I remember that, but I don't remember the exact dates that were lost. Can someone remind me?
  #25  
Old 10-05-2019, 04:23 AM
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Quote:
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Yeah, I remember that, but I don't remember the exact dates that were lost. Can someone remind me?
December 7, 2001 until March 10, 2002.
  #26  
Old 10-07-2019, 12:00 AM
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Don't forget about the "Winter Of Our Lost Content".
"Winter of Our Missed Content".
  #27  
Old 10-07-2019, 06:40 AM
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Maybe it's time to bring that reference up to more modern times and change it's name to The Purge.
  #28  
Old 10-07-2019, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychonaut View Post
Thanks. The before: and after: syntax seems to work somewhat, though it still isn't turning up a lot of old posts that I'm sure I made.
Google's coverage of the Dope is spotty. Don't expect it to have indexed even half the threads here. And it's pretty bad with stuff just earlier this year, not even going back to the WoOMC.
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