lot of time can be wasted when performing Internet searches. With tens
of thousands of pages likely containing at least some reference to whatever
it is you are looking for, drilling down into data to retrieve relevant
web pages can be difficult or impossible. Fortunately, if you know about
a few handy special search formats, you can increase your likelihood
of success greatly. Here are a few I use quite often. Search terms are
not case sensitive, but note that the OR
operator is. You may combine any or all of these special operators as
long as the syntax rules are followed. If you don't want to remember
all the special search formats, simply type in "advanced
search" to get a search page with all these options implemented.
BTW, one of the best tricks I've discovered for using along with the
standard search is to do an Image search since chances are good that
if a web page has a picture of what you're after, it will have relevant
information as well.
- Search for an exact word or phrase.
This is something almost everyone knows about. Place
quote marks around the word
or phrase you want. Be careful, though, because you can easily exclude
otherwise relevant search results.
"3 db hybrid coupler"
returns only pages containing every character in that exact phrase.
- Exclude a particular word or words.
Most people know about this one, too. Place a
- (dash) before a word or site
to exclude all results that include that word.
filter -water -oil returns
pages with all types of filters without the words 'water' or 'oil'
- Search within a site or domain.
search results to those coming from a specific website by using
site:URL along with the search
term(s). The other special characters can be used as well. The site:URL
directive can be placed before or after the search term(s).
returns pages with 'gps' on them, and then only from
the Linx Technologies website.
- Search for pages that link to a URL.
Find web pages that contain a hyperlink pointing to a particular
URL by using link:URL.
returns all web pages that contain a link to the Anatech Electronics
website. Don't think that those
returned are the only pages on the entire Internet that point to
that website because even Google
has only a small fraction of all web pages in its database.
You can also search down to
a specific page on a website, as in
- Search for pages that are similar to a URL.
To find sites that are similar to a URL you already know, use
the related: operator.
returns web pages from sites similar to FerriShield. These are known
as competitors, like 3Gmetalworx,
Fotofab, and Orbel.
- Include a wildcard character.
* (asterisk) character is used
a placeholder in a string of words. One exception to be careful
of is that when used between two numbers, it is interpreted as a
"university of" * "department of engineering"
returns pages with the exact
phrase "university of
any word or words and then the
exact phrase department of engineering.
this combines the exact word
or phrase method along with the wildcard character.
- Search for either word.
OR keyword (must be capitalized)
performs a logical OR function to search for specific words without
requiring that all the words be present on the web page.
isolator OR circulator "waveguide"
returns pages with either isolator or circulator on them that
also includes the
word waveguide (combines two special search methods).
- Search for a number range.
.. (two periods) between two
numbers (without space) returns pages with a numerical series bounded
by the low and high number. Use the
.. operator after a number to return only numbers equal to
or greater than that lower bound, or use the
.. operator before a number
to define an upper bound. It works for entities like dates, prices,
10..50 mhz oscillator
returns web pages containing information on oscillators in the
10 to 50 MHz range.
..50 mhz oscillator returns
only pages with oscillators equal to or
less than 50 MHz.
There may be other special operators that can be used. Please let
me know if you know of any.
Posted November 11,