FEATURE : Search techniques to know

Remember how we searched for information before the Internet? I vaguely recall something about libraries and card catalogs and encyclopedias… Now that we have Google and other online search engines, we can usually find what we’re looking for without ever leaving our desks. But there are a few advanced search options that are incredibly valuable when conducting online research:

1. “Quoting phrases” is widely known and used. If you aren’t using this in your searches, you’re behind the curve. This technique will search for the words within the quote in only that order. This is especially helpful when searching for people by first and last name.

2. To search within a specific site, use the following formula: site:technologyevangelist.com twitter. This particular phrase will bring back pages from technologyevangelist.com that include the term “twitter.”

3. Throw a minus sign in front of a word to filter out results that include that term. If you’re interested in the Olympics, for example, but not gymnastics, diving, or equestrian events, then you would type: olympics -gymnastics -diving -equestrian.

4. Want to find out what government agencies are saying about global warming? Try this: site:gov “global warming.”

5. Take searches that interest you and track them using Google Alerts. Whenever Google discovers something new on the web matching your search criteria, they’ll email it to you.