The Guide

Ok, this is an old guide I wrote a while back. Hopefully it can help the n00bs. This is an all-purpose guide to the all-purpose Google search.
I hope this will help you in the forums when someone tells you to 'Google'.

Note: I took some things from the Tutorial at SuprBay. The advanced section is mostly made up of that tutorial. Credit to the original author.


Part 1: Using the right search

There are a few rules when wanting to use Google effectively.

1. Remove articles, prepositions, and conjunctions (the, a, an, with, to, and, or), except in titles of a movie, game, etc. This helps narrow down Google's search, meaning more links for you to try.

2. Remove question phrases, like 'what is...' and 'how can I...'. Doing this, again, will show more results for your search. Google is not Ask.com or the Yahoo Answers Wiki.

3. Don't use plural words, like nouns and verbs, unless needed for titles in movies, games, etc.

4. DON'T use punctuation, because some characters like "-" and "(" are characters used for a special reason. (see Advanced section)

5. (Optional) Use lowercase. Google finds the same thing in lowercase as uppercase, so there is no real need for capital letters. This can help you type faster :-)


Part 2: Finding the result you want

Here's some instructions for finding the answer to your search term.

The first thing you should know is that the results are web pages that include all of the words typed in the Google search bar.

1. Prioritize looking at the description of the link, and not the link title itself. Some results show a basic title,
like 'EZDoIt Forums - [Post Title]', and do not give away what you're looking for.
Someone may have posted the answer to your question in that post. You never know, so don't base your choices on the titles.

2. If you see a site that's in another language, don't fret. You may find what you want there also using Google Translate. Copy the link to the webpage,
go to translate.google.com, paste the URL (the link you copied) in the textbox,
choose 'Detect Language' from the 1st drop-down box, choose your language from the next drop-down box, and hit 'Translate'.
The webpage will show itself in your chosen language, but the grammar may be a bit messy. Use common sense when reading.

3. Read the url under each description. As an example in why you should, when you're looking to download a free mp3 file, you can remember which sites you have to pay for the mp3's. Also, some are sites you may not want to go to. (see #5)

4. When Google shows a Suggested search (Blue, bold letters above the results), pay attention to what the suggestion is.
Most of the time, Google catches typos, but sometimes it suggests something completely different than what you're looking for.

5. If the description looks like jibberish, ignore the link. Many of these websites include loads of ads, or even malware, viruses, trojans, adware, or spyware.
This can be a problem if you don't have trustworthy security against such things.

Google Result Jiberish

Part 3: For advanced users (Optional)

Ok, here are some of the more advanced options for google searches.

By default, Google shows results with all of the words entered in the search bar.

1. If you want to omit words from the search (so results with that word won't show), type a - before the word (no space between).
This can help narrow down the search, if the regular search results seem to have too much of another topic in them

Example: football -college
Example 2: Xbox -360

2. You can make your searches more powerful by making Google search for one thing or another in the same search.
A usual search would be 'California university college' if you wanted to find both colleges and universities in California.
But, you can do something to make the search better, by searching for university OR college.
To do so, just put an 'OR' between the 2, 3, or any number of terms.

Example: California university OR college
2nd Example: Bacon county OR city OR town

'OR' makes Google show results that may have only one of the two words. 'AND', which is two words without an 'OR',
will only show results that have both words in them (this is the default for any search).

3. Use double quotes (") to make Google find a phrase exactly as it is typed, with each word in the same order as in the search box.
This is helpful for searching for error messages. Make sure you omit double quotes inside the double quotes. This can cause errors.

Example: "Windows cannot find fail.exe."

Also, if you copy and paste the error, make sure to omit certain words inside the message, like your username or a C:\ path to a folder.
Keeping these in the search box willl probably yield no results. Chances are that no one uses the same program and username as you, right?

But keep in mind that the quotes make Google search for the exact phrase, so you will have to break the quotes.
Don't worry, you can use more than one set of quotes in a search.

Here's an example of how to fix an error message.

Bad example: "Windows cannot find "C:\Users\CEDrake\AppData\Local\...\succeed.exe""
How to fix: "Windows cannot find" "AppData\Local\...\succeed.exe"

You can also put a "-" symbol before entire quotes. Just make sure to put it before starting the quote, and not inside.

Example: Xbox -360 -"Xbox One"

4. You can also narrow down your search by a specific website. Add the text, site:website.com, to your search to only show search results from that website.

Example: site:youtube.com "I wanna be the guy"

You can also negate search results from certain websites.

Example: .net framework -site:microsoft.com

Check out
this page for more advanced operators like "site:". Examples of some of these are below.

Power uses! Example Time!

intext:e-mail intitle:security -site:microsoft.com
This will search for web pages, not from microsoft.com, with "e-mail" in the page content and "security" in the page or article title.

intitle:"index of" mp3
Many websites have an index listing of files. Using this search you can find some interesting stuff. substitute mp3 for something else like below for cool stuff.

intitle:"index of" wmv OR avi OR mov OR mkv
This gets even better.

BEWARE! I am not responsible if you get in trouble for piracy. I neither condone nor encourage piracy. These instruction are only for educational use.
You can find some legal fan-made stuff that's pretty cool using these tricks.
[More to come!]



© Copyright 2009-2018 Nathan Dick