Thursday, 27 January 2011

Getting the most out of Google - part 1

Basic Searching

  1. Phrases in quotation marks.
  2. Default Boolean is AND.
  3. Use OR explicitly.
  4. Negate using the minus sign (should not contain). Minus must not be separated by a space.
  5. Use a + to make an explicit inclusion of a short word ignored by Google e.g. +the.
  6. Also search with synonyms by using the ~ character.
  7. Number ranges are separated by .. e.g. 5..10. If the second number is missing it will be a maximum or minimum.
  8. There are no stemming wildcards - so * only is a wildcard for a complete word.

Special Syntax

These allow you to focus your search onto certain elements of the web.
  1. intitle: limits the search to the titles of webpages.
  2. inanchor: searches only in hyperlinks
  3. intext: searches only in the page text - not anchors, URLs.
  4. insite: restrict the search to a particular domain.
  5. inurl: limits the search to a particular page.
  6. link: searches for pages that link to that URL.
  7. cache: searches the cache - this is useful if the page has moved/been deleted.
  8. filetype: searches for suffixes of that filetype e.g. ppt.
  9. related: finds related pages.
  10. define: finds related definitions.
To find more detail, there is the O'Reilly book - Google Hacks The problem is parts of it are badly outdated so it is perhaps best from a library rather than to buy.