How to find better search results in Google

Google our gateway in Internet
Google our gateway into Internet

Stored by Sk Badiruddin Rahaman follow me on twitter.com/skbadiruddin

There are a number of ways of improving our Google searches. Here this content I have discussed some special techniques to experience better use in Google.

Google provides a guide to the paths you can polish your search here:

http://www.google.com/support/websearch/bin/answer.py?answer=136861

And here:

http://www.google.com/help/operators.html

Wikipedia comes up high on most search returns, and so do fact sheets and one or two news stories. For journalistic research this is not particularly helpful, and slow down.

Search for a phrase (“”)

Double quotes in a search term tell Google to look for that phrase, exactly as you have typed it.

Search within a specific website (site:

If you want to get results from one particular website, you can refine search term like this: Google allows you to specify that your search must come from the given website. For example, the query [India site: aljazeera.com] will return pages about India but only from aljazeera.com. The simpler queries [India aljazeera.com] or [India Al Jazeera] will usually be just as good, though they might shows results from other sites that mention the Al Jazeera.

Search within a specified class of site (site:ac):

If you want results only from, say, government or academic sites you can refine your search by following your search term with the site category: [crime site:gov] or:  [crime:site ac]. If you want to search only on sites from a particular country you can use country identifier from the URL, such as “in” for India, “bd” for Bangladesh, “it” for Italy and “fr” for France.

Search with an asterisk or wildcard(*)

You can use the asterisk, *, or wildcard, as part of a search term. When you do, Google treats the asterisk as a proxy for any term. So, for example, if you are researching a politician’s voting record, you can use this search term: [Jetly voted * on the * bill], and get results that focus on Arun Jetly’s voting record.

Search with the OR option (OR)

Words such as “or” would normally be ignored by Google—as would other very common words. But if you use the capitalized OR you can use it to refine your search. So, for example, [crime statistics 2013 OR 2014] will give you results for either of these years. The search term [crime statistics 2013 2014] would only show results for pages that contained both of these years.

Search for erased content (cache)

Searching in Google’s cache can be very useful when the material you want has been removed from a site. Perhaps something contentious, which would make a story defamatory/libelous, has been removed from the latest version of the site. If you type in the search dialogue: [cache:www.etctopicsite.com] (replacing the subject site with the URL of the site you are interested in) you will see the version of the page that Google has in its cache. With luck the page before it was amended will be held here.

If you add to your search term the work you want to search for, by leaving a space then after the URL like so: [www.etctopicsite.com victim], then those words will be highlighted within the cached document that is returned.

You can also get the cache by performing a standard search and clicked on the cache by performing a standard search and clicked results returned.

Search for definition (define:)

If you want to check the usage of a word or phrase, put [define:] before your word or term and you’ll get results that define it.

Search for stock prices (stocks:)

If you begin your search term with [stocks:] and then follow with the ticker symbols rather than the company name, your returns will focus on stocks.

Search for all words in a site’s title (allintitle:)

Starting your query with this restricts your results to those with all of the query words in the title. For instance [allintitle: garden ponds] will return only documents that have both “garden” and ponds in the title.

Search for all words in URL (allinurl:)

Starting your query with this restricts the results to those with all of the query words in in the URL.

The search qualifies [file type:], [inurl:] and [intitle:] are very useful to build search strings that reach deep within sites.

Search for trends

http://www.google.com/trends

This give you results presented on a timeline, and this graph shows you how many times your search topic appeared in Google News stories. So you see peaks of interest. It also presents link to news stories, and indicates where on this graph they were written.

So, type in “tsunami” and you get a graph of the peaks and troughs reflecting interest in the topic, and stories written at a number of points over that period.

Search by category

http://directory.google.com

Your topic might be anything from crime to gardening, and returns will be from that category. This short of search can be useful in identifying rich areas of useful information. It might be a magazine, maybe a university site, maybe a book. The next step is to refine your search using one of the other devices listed here, to get to the exact information you want.

Search scholarly papers

http://scholar.google.com

Search within books

http://books.google.com

Courtesy:

Andy Bull, Multimedia Journalism A Practice Guide, Routledge

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