Nobody wants to spend time scrolling through thousands of search results to find the page that contains the information they’re looking for. In fact, with the help of a few search operators, you can increase substantially the chances that you’ll find what you’re looking for on your first search try. (Note: not all of these work in every search engine.)
Restating the Obvious Operators: I’ll wager you know all about using the plus sign (+) to search for two terms appearing together, the minus sign (-) to find pages that contain one term but not another, the asterisk (*) wildcard to search for a term along with any other word, and quotes (“blah de blah”) to find an exact phrase. Here’s another search character you might find handy: Place a tilde (~) directly in front of your search term to find pages with words similar to the term in question. So searching ~inexpensive laptop will return pages that have the term “cheap laptop,” “affordable laptop,” and “low-cost laptop” as well.
Many of my favorite Web sites have terrible site-search boxes. I usually have a much better chance of finding what I’m looking for on the site by going to Google or another search engine, and entering my search term along with site:www.thesitename.com (or .org, .edu, etc.) Here are some of my other favorite search limiters:
define:word to return a definition;
link:url to find pages that contain a link to a specific site or page;
inurl:searchterm (or allinurl:searchterm) to retrieve pages whose URL contains a specific word or phrase;
intitle:searchterm (or allintitle:searchterm the find pages with the word or phrase in their title; and,
info:url (or id:url) to get information about the page.
More Search Helpers: If you’re looking for a weather report, simply enter weather place or zip code and press Enter to see the temperature, conditions, and forecast for that locale. To keep adult-oriented content out of the results, use safesearch: searchterm. And to see pages similar to another page, type related: url.
Search, Web Search, Internet Search, Search Results, Search Operators, Search Shortcuts, Tips and Tricks