Enhance your Google search



This was the text of a presentation I did back in 2005 in Denver, Colorado. The presentation was for the then Peoplesoft Emerging Market Translation Team.

Imagine what you want
Instead of just writing ‘PDA’ in the search box you can write ‘comparative review of pdas’.
Use quotation marks
Instead of writing John Adams (which will bring you also pages that contain just John and just Adams, you can write “John Adams” and google will look at the term as one unit. It is especially important to use quotes if you are looking for a term that includes a “stop word” like: a, about, are, at, by, from, I, in, of, how, that, the, this, to, will, who, what, where, or when.
Use the + sign or – sign
Besides the normal ‘supply + economy’ to refine your search you can also use the minus sign to exclude things from the search so ‘supply + economy – merchants’ would help you keep out any stores from popping within the search results.
Try a wild card
A lot of people think that Google does not let you use a lot of wildcards when in fact you can use the ‘*’ sign. Instead of writing ‘what storage economy is’ you can write ‘what * economy is’ and it will bring up as results all sites that contain that exact sentence with only the wildcard word replaced.
site:, filetype: (eg doc or pdf), intext: and allintext:, intitle: and allintitle:, inurl: and allinurl:, author: (Google Groups) location: (in Google News).
The OR operator
Google also understands a logical OR, as long as it is in caps. The OR command can be shortened to a vertical bar (|), as in [economy | freight]. Another way of adding alternatives is to use a twiddle or tilde character (~). Thus if you search for [~food], Google also searches for cooking, cuisine, nutrition, recipes and restaurants.
Google Scholar – What does the Scholar do?
Google scholar works as a search within a library. It retrieves citations, references and articles that contain your given search word(s). This tool is convenient just because we can see the term used. In many cases the articles or books are in libraries that require subscription or payment to retrieve the complete text.
Is there anything else out there besides Google?
Try a different search engine like Vivisimo, Yahoo, Teoma, or, you can use Dogpile or Metacrawler, which are metasearch engines.
Try a cumulative desktop search program like Copernic or Copernic Meta (for metasearch searches). (For those interested in Copernic I have downloaded the setup in English, French, German and Italian. It can be found at my folder in the Terminology Section. At this location I have also placed the Copernic Meta; all these are freeware applications). For a comprehensive list visit http://www.tucows.com/searchbot95_license.html

When you are searching for terms evaluate your resources; Ensure term reusability – the search engines can show you the usability, popularity or traceability of a term. Lists of colleagues like GlossPost on Yahoo are valuable not only because of the collegial suggestions but also because of the archives that contain thousands of glossaries.

You can download this presentation also from SlideShare; just follow this link. {jcomments on}

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