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Val Cox Frit
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Author Topic: Seek and ye shall find – taming search engines  (Read 3368 times)
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sparrow
I hold with those who favor fire.
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« on: September 28, 2010, 05:36:26 AM »

Forums, wikis and t’interweb are full of useful info, but it’s not always easy to dig up. More often than not, forum posts were written with chat in mind, not search engine optimisation, so we mods thought we’d write a little ‘guide to effective searching’ to help you along.

Combining, rephrasing and separating search terms

It always helps to be as specific in your search as possible (just as an example, search for ‘Double Helix’, and funnily enough, there’s a lot of info on genetics, but very little on how to make Triton sing. Search for ‘Double Helix Glass or Glassworks’, and it’s a different story. So, if you’re interested in button mandrels, give the net as much info as you can: ‘button mandrel lampwork’, ‘button mandrel glass’, you can even type in a whole question, google will pick out the terms it thinks are relevant: ‘How do I clean hollow lampwork beads?’ – if this doesn’t get you what you want, rephrase. I just tried, and ‘hollow lampwork bead cleaning tips’ gave me the info I wanted, 5th result down. If you don’t get anything, remove information until you get it right: ‘pandora striking paragon caldera kiln’ might not do it, but ‘pandora glass kiln striking’ might.

Quotation marks

If you search for something in double quotation marks, google will search for this as an exact quote (great to find song lyrics from a fragment, too!) So googling “Why can’t I get Psyche to reduce?” will search for that exact question on the internet. Not very useful for questions, but great if you search for something specific (for an example, google “effetre colour chart”).

Get clever

Some sites offer search options within the site itself, but not all do – don’t fret, google is there to help. Go to google advanced search (http://www.google.co.uk/advanced_search) – enter your search term, then, under ‘search within a site or domain’, enter the URL of the site you’re after. See http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&as_q=tips&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&num=10&lr=&as_filetype=&ft=i&as_sitesearch=doublehelixglassworks.com&as_qdr=all&as_rights=&as_occt=any&cr=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&safe=images as an example of a search run that way, or http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&as_q=peacock&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&num=10&lr=&as_filetype=&ft=i&as_sitesearch=dragonjools.blogspot.com/&as_qdr=all&as_rights=&as_occt=any&cr=&as_nlo=&as_nhi=&safe=images

Once you get used to this type of searching, there’s no need to use the ‘Advanced’ function, just google this:

peacock site:dragonjools.blogspot.com

site:xyz means google will restrict its search to the site url following immediately after, in this case, all occurrences of the word ‘Peacock’ on the blog in question (and a fab blog it is!!!)

Another handy one is define:xyz – this will search for the term in dictionaries or organised lists.

Please feel free to share your own search tips, and happy searching!
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