Last week I wrote about searching the internet to solve your technical problems.
The key to quickly finding the right answer is learning how to use advanced search techniques.
Searching for one-word terms is easy, but as your search terms grow, so do results that are unrelated to your query.
If you are looking for Dallas Cowboys, you will get returns for Dallas football team, Dallas city, ropin’ cowboys and horseback riding.
If you want to narrow your search to just football cowboys, put the words in quotation marks, such as “Dallas Cowboys.”
If you wanted to find web pages about real cowboys, not football players, you could use an exclusion term, which would be cowboys-football.
You can search within a specific location using “site:”, such as searching for Dallas Cowboys YouTube videos with site:youtube.com Dallas Cowboys.
You can call up a full page of advanced searches at google.com/advanced_search. Here you’ll find search boxes containing all of these advanced searches, as well as searches for specific language, regions, or countries including files of a specific type.
You can also turn SafeSearch on or off, which will filter out explicit results.
Did you know that Google can search for images?
If you want to find photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, you can search for that term and click on the “images” link on the results page.
If you have an image that you would like to identify, you can perform a reverse image search and show similar images.
Want more information about that beer you’re drinking? Take a picture of the box and upload it to Google and you will get other pictures of the box with more information.
Search for news
One of my favorite searches for news.
Do you want to find the absolute latest articles on your research topic? Try searching on Google News.
Want to read a review of the concert you attended last week? Type in the band’s name and then click News on the search return page.
Searching for news is also a good way to see what different news outlets have to say on any topic you like.
other search engines
I mentioned Google a lot in this column, but these tips work well in other search engines.
If you don’t use Google for any reason, I recommend Duck Duck Go (duckduckgo.com) as a good search alternative, and the site that doesn’t track you, share, or sell your search history.
You can even make Duck Duck Go your default search engine in most browsers.
Jim Rossman is a technology columnist for the Tribune News Service. It can be accessed at [email protected].
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