Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Google search tips

I found this howto: Ten Tips for Smarter Google Searches, and it got me to thinking about people's search skills. I like to think that I'm a pretty good searcher. So it was with interest that I clicked through and read this entire list of strategies:

  • Tip #1: Use the Correct Methodology
  • Tip #2: Conduct an "Either/Or" Search
  • Tip #3: Include or Exclude Words in Your Search
  • Tip #4: Search for Similar Words
  • Tip #5: Search for an Exact Phrase
  • Tip #6: List Similar Pages
  • Tip #7: Fine-Tune Your Search with Other Operators
  • Tip #8: Search for Specific Facts
  • Tip #9: Search the Google Directory
  • Tip #10: Use Googles Other Specialized

I have to admit that I only use 1, 2, 3 and 8 regularly. Tip 4 was completely new to me, and of all of these is the one I am most likely to remember and use going forward. I only use the "site" restriction from tip 7. I didn't know about the other search restrictions. The only vertical search engine I use (#10) is Google Blog Search, and I only use this one through YubNub.

I know just about everyone could benefit from using Google better. I'm curious how many of these tips you use? Also, do you ever use the advanced search page? If you were going to do a training to help people improve their search skills which of these tips would you include in your training?

1 comment:

Old Fox said...

As a legal searcher, I frequently use the special search of U.S. Government sites to improve veracity.

To find specific medical and technological articles, I am into phrase searching and Google Scholar a lot.

I also try to teach users how to synonymize with the ~ and insert blanks with the *. When finding too many false hits, the - operator can be used to eliminate most of the "noise".

I find clusty.com very useful for the more vague and fuzzy concepts because of it's brilliant categorization of results.

Looking for competitive intelligence, briefings, and sales presentations is very handy by searching for filetype:ppt.

Happy motoring.