How to Become An Internet Search Expert and Get the Info You Need

Want to become a search expert? Try doing your Internet searches using phrases, called search strings, which cut your search time down while increasing the relevant results.

If you pay attention to your standard search engine results, you notice that often just the first two to three pages of a search using just the word you are looking for results in relevant information.

Following those pages more and more of the information begins to lose the relevancy.

Take for example the word "Panda" on a Google search. All things Panda, the animal, last almost not quite three pages. After page, three the relevance to Panda's evolves to Panda-related products and commercial businesses begins.

By entering such a broad subject such as "Panda" with no related words, the time and energy searching for Websites and information takes longer and omits what might be excellent results.

A better approach is to refine the search to specific needs to not only speed up the search process, but yield pages and pages of relevant and reliable information. Therefore the Search String.

Search Strings are not limited to Google. The Search String is a device that should be used on all searches using Search Engines and Databases.

Blog keyword search. Again, this is similar to the "Exact Search," in that we are looking for something specific. Only in this case, the term "inurl: indicates we are looking exactly for the subject in a blog. For example inurl:chickens

The definition search. The definition search is great for writers. Another option is to use a dictionary or Thesaurus site. However, when we are in a hurry, the "define" search can speed things up. define:pullet.

The date range search. This is obvious. To search for information within a specific date range, do these: Self Publishing daterange: 2010 january-2011 January

This type of research is especially important if you need relevant and updated information.

The wildcard search * is the "Star" in your computer. To use a wildcard search insert the * symbol instead of a word. When we are not sure of exactly what we are looking for, The Wildcard is an excellent way to explore what is out in the Internet world. I used this option when looking for anything related to the phrase, "San Francisco Values." I received all the latest political responses as well as real estate information,

The file type search. Easy to use. Just add the file type to the term: filetype:pdf

The safe search. This is helpful in terms of using the computer along with children. The safe search excludes all adult content from the results: safesearch:online

The exact search. A phrase or exact search allows us to find relevant information by putting quotes "" around our search term. This will cut out all irrelevant and time wasting results. For Example: "chicken blogs."

The link search. If you are looking for a specific Website, you can put the link either into your browser window or into the search window as well.

The site search. If we want to find information on only the one website, then precede the link with the term "site" and you will find this site only. This is helpful if you are not sure of the URL.

How to find stuff using either or results. If we need information on two words that might not even be related, we can use the OR in between. For example: chickens OR hens.

More info. Many are familiar with the Boolean search techniques. These items will further define what we are looking for. Such terms as the + used between three words will "string" together exactly what we are looking for. For example: chickens + egg + seasons. I like to use the term "What is." This is another way to tell the browser I'm looking for information about something, somewhat like the Wild Card, but not quite so broad.

Using Search Strings gives us an advantage to improve our accuracy and speed up the search process. You will be faster and able to find more accurate information from now on.

Geri Spieler is the author of, "Taking Aim At The President: The Remarkable Story of the Woman Who Shot at Gerald Ford," Palgrave Macmillan.

She is a former investigative reporter and has written for the Los Angeles Times and San Francisco Chronicle. She was a research director for Gartner and is an award winning public speaker and past president of the San Francisco/Peninsula California Writers Club.
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