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Friday, January 21, 2011

Five Most Exciting Search Tricks with Google Operators

Knowing about different techniques of searching in Google, has the biggest advantage in saving precious time. The more you optimize your queries, the more faster you get what you were looking for and finally the more quicker your work gets done. Its a bit of ‘more’ in everything when Google search tricks are applied. Please find below more five tricks to what I shared ten last week.

The theme for this article is "Definitive Search". It means that, instead of beating around the bush for carrying out permutations and combinations of your search queries, why not carry out the search for exactly what we are looking for. By doing this, you would become more sure of getting the most relevant articles to your queries.
Most of the Definitive Search tricks are obtained by using the Google Advanced Operators. I would like to specify in this article as to where the operators can be utilized ‘more’ efficiently.
For this article I am taking a particular case study for search query optimization. So here we go…

Let us take the current situation of the Oracle BEA acquisition. One would be interested in which stories are doing rounds of it on the web. Even if you put the phrase Oracle BEA acquisition in Google you would obviously get a lot of links. Try it:

• Oracle BEA acquisition

But can you tell for sure which of the links are actually speaking specifically about this story? The answer is NO. This is because Google only searches for those articles which have these 3 words viz Oracle or BEA or acquisition.

1. Most common trick – Using Quotes

To circumvent the above analogy lets try one of the most common trick, using “” (quotes) around this phrase, since using them restricts the results to include all the above 3 words and match the articles which have them. Try it:

• “Oracle BEA acquisition”

This time the results look good since all the returned results have the 3 words either in content or their titles. But you still cannot say that the links would have some content surrounding the story. The reason is, if you consider this article itself, the 3 words are mentioned right here above. This means that even this article might get displayed in the results simply because I have used all the 3 words with the exact sequence. But there is no story about the acquisition. Get it?

2. Power of All – Using the operator allintitle

The time has come for using the powerful Google operator allintitle: This operator is used in a situation as above. Now considering the above situation, one would be urged to click on any article which has the 3 words in the title, the reason being articles with such titles are bound to be related exactly to what the title mentions. This is meaning of being definitive. The operator makes it a point to help you search the articles on the web which have the 3 words in their title. Try it:

• allintitle:Oracle BEA acquisition

3. Power of One – Using the operator intitle

Similar to the allintitle you also can use just intitle which searches for articles which have either “Oracle” or “BEA” or “Acquisition” in their content and not all the three in the title. It is good for single word searches which come in title. Let’s say that you just wanted to find some articles which mentioned all the acquisitions made by Oracle but you are not sure of them. The trick would be to use:

• intitle:Oracle acquisition

3. Digging deeper – Using the operator inURL

This one is my favorite trick. I am always looking out for current topics. The web on the other hand has got overloaded with redundant information. The problem lies here. If I search for something I won’t be so sure whether the links in the results are recent or old. Blogs help me the most is using this trick to my advantage. If you are frequent visitor of blogs then you might have noticed that they have the date of publishing right there in the URL. If you notice this blog too then the URL will have the date. Are you thinking what I am thinking?

If you have not understood then lets take the same above example. If you take the 1st example then you would notice that the search results also include old articles. In this case it also lists out BEA’s denial of Oracle merger in 2007. What we are interested is not this, but the news of the acquisition in 2008! So to try out a simple hack to this is to use the inURL operator. Try this:

• “Oracle BEA acquisition” inurl:2008

The usage of inurl:2008 lists out only those links which have been published in 2008, thus furthering making your search definitive.

4. The Perfect Match – Using the operator allinurl

This is the most definitive of all the combinations which I have mentioned above and the most efficient too. But it may not always work because having multiple words all together in an URL is rare. But still if we try this in our example:

• allinurl:Oracle BEA acquisition 2008

This is a huge filtering operator. You can judge it by the results themselves. It gives only a handful of results! Isn’t that brilliant? However, with this operator you cannot judge the quality of the returned results since it all depends on the URL is framed and not on the content! But many a times, I find it exact and helpful. Remember, you don’t have to put slashes (/) in here, just the words which you think might appear in the URL.

5. Look who is spying – Using the operator site

I use this operator sometimes for my amusement. With this operator you can search for keywords only from particular sites. For example:

• Oracle BEA acquisition site:techtracer.com

will search for the articles in this site only! It isn’t helpful much since many sites have inbuilt search feature, including Techtracer. But you can use it for finding comments which you might have made in some site! Sounds like fun!

I remember I had made a comment in DailySeoBlog a few days ago. But hey, I don’t remember which article I had made the comment on. So here is my hack for using the site operator. Just type which name you had entered while commenting. I had used my first name “nitin”. So check this out:

• nitin site:dailyseoblog.com

Amazing isn’t it? Now I know which all articles I had commented upon in the blog. So now I can easily see what people or the author has responded to my comments.

Gimme ‘more’

Using definitive tricks you can now be sure fire way of finding out exactly what you are looking for. But in the end knowing all the tricks will just won’t be helpful if you don’t apply the right tricks at the right time. It comes with habit of constantly searching for ‘more’ information.


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