Google search tips

NOT to bring up a touchy subject, and I don’t want this thread to get side-tracked, but I was wondering what different methods people use for searching with Google (or, for that matter, with other search engines)

Do you just use a few keywords? do you go boolean? advanced search? Give us some tips!

Keywords, carefully chosen. You have to ask yourself, “what words are used to describe my target that are less likely to be used elsewhere.”

I also use quotes. This lets you designate a phrase, not just keywords.

Avoid any keyword or phrase that can have a sexual meaning.

I replace the spaces with periods when I need a phrase. It works like quotes, but you don’t have to type as much.

I always click the Google Groups tab if I don’t like the results from the normal search. Often you’ll find out enough to get some better keywords.

And I use the Google toolbar for IE, since it’s faster than going to the Google site.

Unless that’s what you’re looking for :smiley:

The problem is that you can never tell what will have a sexual connotation. For example the word “thumbs” is often used in refrence to thumbnails or small pictures and when used in a search will almost certainly return some porn.

When I’m doing some research and need to look through a lot of pages quickly, here’s what I do. First, disable image loading. Second, click on the “Cached” link when viewing a page. This loads the .html page from google and eliminates practically all delay related to loading a page from The page loads in about 1/2 a second and is great when I’m looking for a needle in a haystack.

I do use Boolean search strategies, particularly OR - I almost never use NOT, and AND is understood with any google search unless you specify otherwise.

But first, I think about which words I want to use to search - there are often several possible, depending on whether I want basic information or more scholarly information.

I’m also not afraid of the parentheses - I usually use them when I’m using the Boolean OR to combine terms. I might search for (mario OR pokemon OR barbie) “super nintento” if I wanted pages about super nintendo games with any of those characters in them.

Also, I like the “more like this” function - that’s handy when I only find one page that’s really what I want, but I think there’s likely more out there.

try or (or similar if you are looking for reliable data on something scientific.

Also, if you are looking for a very specific long phrase, search on a series of short pieces of it (try for the words that are most distinctive, obviously, but also try to use the bits that you’re pretty sure that you remember verbatim).

So to search for the above paragraph, you’d probably enter something like:
**“specific long phrase” “remember verbatim” **

And don’t forget about the advanced search where you can limit the search to English, exclude pdf, search in titles, and remove porn websites from the search.