This tutorial on how to use search engines wil teach you how to find precisely what you are searching for. Today’s Internet boasts over 8 billion web pages (understatement) in the major indices and literally thousands more added daily. How can we find what we are looking for when we can’t even find our glasses half the time, heck sometimes it is hard enough to find a certain file on your computer.
With that said let’s try and make life a little easier with a few pointers on how to use search engines. There are basic operators like +, -, or, and, and or etc, most of us know what these will do with the search results. There are advanced operators or query words that search engines use that will modify the search results. For example define: search engines, will return a list of pages defining search engines. Try this common search term and see what happens define: search engine optimization notice how relevant the results are? Now try the same term without using the define operator. See the difference in results now? By using define we can narrow our search to more relevant results. Go ahead and try a couple searches on your own now using the define operator. Makes life on the Internet a little easier doesn’t it?
Have you ever tried to find information on a particular web site? Try using the info: operator to narrow your search terms info:www.networksolutions.com. (note: there is no space after the colon) Notice all the results returned are all about Network Solutions. Try using the info: operator on your favorite web site and see what happens.
Try using the stock: operator with a stock symbol to quickly find information on your stock. For example type stock:THI-T notice all the results returned were specifically about Tim Hortons.
link: will return results of every page linking to that certain web site. Try using it like this link:www.msn.com notice all the web sites out there linking to MSN.
To narrow your search terms even further you could try using the allintitle: operator. For example let’s say you were searching for vernon computer repair by using allintitle:vernon computer repair as a search the results returned would be all the web pages containing vernon computer repair in the title of the document. You can see how this would be beneficial to use. You could use this operator to improve your search engine rankings for a particular search term by seeing what web sites are using the search term in there title.
Another favorite operator I use when searching is allinurl: this operator will return results with only the search words that appear in the url of a web page. For example let’s say we wanted to find out what web sites were using vernon computer repair in the url of there documents so we could compete for that search term. Go ahead and try using allinurl:vernon computer repair in your search and see what happens. Notice there are only 252 pages using that search term in there url. Looks like a good term to optimize a few pages for.
I hope I have explained operators and how they work. Now that you have a better understanding of how searches work on the search engines go ahead and try to find stuff you are looking for by trying some of the examples I have discussed. Happy surfing!