jnhall5's blog

Effective use of search engines or: How I became the family tech support guy

You might be surprised how many questions already have answers, simply floating in the internether. As a person who's grown up alongside the world wide web, I've come to rely on internet queries to quickly answer a question or offer instruction. The key to finding this information is to be able to effectively use search engines to navigate the web. For this post, I'll be talking about methods I use for a Google search. If you're using a different engine, your search results may vary. I will also be using square brackets and italics to denote example queries, such as this [ query ] for the word query.

Phrase searching

When you search for a phrase, such as [ which seat should I take ], you may notice that you get a variety of results with the words in any order. While in many cases this is fine, it can also be very helpful to use double quotes in your search to contain a specific phrase. The results will contain the keywords in the exact order. This can be used to find a reference, song lyrics, and is especially useful for finding information on an error message. The query [ "which seat should I take" ]  will give you more specific results.

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