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[YAK] Searching the Internet


#1

Even though this has nothing directly to do with jewelry, it seems
fitting to me as general knowlege. I just watched a great video -
Introduction to Internet Searching, from www.lynda.com, which is a
great place (others are gnomon.com and totaltraining.com). I thought
I’d share some of the highlights, because it’s just so useful.
There’s a lot there, but I’ll just lay out the Google part. First,
from me, not the video - if you install the Google toolbar, you’ll
notice that if you highlight a term on a page and right click, one
of the items on the menu will be “search for [highlight]”… Handy.
What follows, though, is “How to make Google sing”.

Basics: Probably most everybody knows that if you type in gold
jewelry, it will search for gold and also jewelry. If you type “gold
jewelry” it will search for the phrase. If you type gold +jewelry,
it will give higher weight to the word jewelry - that it’s not just
a keyword, it’s a KEY word. More useful is that if your type gold
-jewelry, it will search for gold without the word jewelry. Or,
“gold jewelry” -diamond will search for gold jewelry but only pages
that don’t say diamond. Notice there are no spaces between the
operators and the words, and these work for all search engines,
including ebay, btw.

Deeper Stuff:

Google only searches 10 words. If you type more, it will ignore them
after #10. There is also a list of “stop words” that Google ignores
(you can search for google stop words). These are a, and, the, www,
and others. There’s no point typing them. “A list of google stop
words” = “list google stop words”. BTW, it also only returns 1000
hits, even if it says “4,096,982 hits”.

Google will correct your spelling and more. If you’re not sure how
to spell “disambulation”, give it a shot, and Google will ask, “Did
you mean…?” It will also search for synonyms. If you’re not
sure if Harvard is a college or University, or you want to go wider,
type in “Harvard ~university”. The “~” tilde is uppercase under the
escape key. Google will search for university, college and school
and whatever else applies, and return them all. One example was
typing harvard ~attorney, and it returned Harvard Law School. Very
Useful!

If you want your search to only look for pdf files, you can use the
advance search box, but it is limited. Do this: search for “gold
jewelry” filetype:pdf. It will return only pdf hits. Notice - no
spaces, and also no “dot” before the pdf. Google officially claims
to list 13 file types, but they actually have about 80. So, you can
seach for jewelry filetype:ppt to get powerpoint presentations about
jewelry. To search for keywords that are in the title of the page
(that’s what the button down on your taskbar is labeled, not the
splash banner on the page), search for intitle:keyword. The example
was “internet explorer”, which got 9 million page hits, but far
fewer actually in the title. So, intitle:“internet explorer”. Again,
no spaces.

Similarly, to search for a keyword that is in the address itself,
use inurl:keyword. this will only return hits that have the word in
the URL. Site searching is probably the most useful tool you can use
(pretty much the modern “gopher”). If you search for “windows”,
you’ll get 25 million hits. If you search for windows
site:microsoft.com, you’ll only get hits from that site. You can
also do the reverse: windows -site:microsoft.com will return results
from everywhere BUT microsoft. The example used was "crimson tide"
site:ua.edu, which only returns results about the football team.
Even more, you can do wildcard searches. “windows media” site:edu
will only return edu results, same for com, org, net gov, mil. Real
handy.

Maybe you all knew this, but I never did. When the Google spider
hits a page, it sends it to the Google servers (that I knew). If you
look at search results, along the way you’ll see “cached”. If you
ever get “the page cannot be displayed” for whatever reason, you can
search for the site, hit “cached”, and what you will get is the
saved page on Google’s servers. Likely not up to date, but it’s
there.

Link:URL will show all the pages that have a link to that site. So,
link:donivanandmaggiora.com returns the pages that link to mine
(only one, nobody loves me…LOL). This doesn’t mean the auxilliary
pages, it means they have a link to your site.

Google is uncannily smart, for a computer. In a search, you can
click on “similar pages”. You can do the same by typing
related:abc.com or related:apple.com. Great way to widen research.
By the way, Google does not care if you type http or www. With or
without is the same. stocks:msft intc aapl will return stock market
info for one or a list of stock symbols. Here spaces are ok, and the
list is delimited with spaces. Curiously, it takes you to Yahoo’s
finance page, which is probably the best around.

You can type in “define world wide web” and you’ll get a list of
sites that do that. If you type in “define:world wide web”, you’ll
get a list of definitions, with citations.

Finally - there’s much more, but finally - Google has a built in
phonebook and calculator. If you type in your name and city, it will
return your address and phone number if it’s in the database. As
they stress, this is because it’s already in public documents, like
the phone book. If you type in “2 x 84 + 61 - 12”, it will return
the results. It is capable of higher math to a point, too.
Exponents, trig (sin, cos, tan), percentages - much more. HeRe:

is how to use it in more detail. It also will convert foreign
currency - you need to know the currency abbreviations. Oh, yeah -
if you type in a fedex tracking number and a list of other things,
it will return results for those, too.

Lately, you can also search for books:mark twain. To get into
Google’s book project, though, go to books.google.com

I will say that even though I find all of this deeply useful, I also
think Google is so powerful it’s scary. I just thought that since
Orchid is a research and knowlege oriented forum, many would find
this useful…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com