3 strategies for better online searches

On May 13, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Staff Contributor

Each and every one of us knows what it’s like to perform an online search and get results that are not even close to what we were looking for. This can be quite aggravating. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple steps you can take that can ensure more appropriate search results.

Keep it simple

Use the fewest number of words or phrases you can. If you’re looking for Chinese takeout in your town, type in “Chinese food” along with the name of your city or your zip code. That should garner accurate results even if you aren’t sure exactly what you’re looking for.

Learn about Boolean

Whether you know it or not, you are most likely familiar with Boolean searches. This simply refers to using terms like “and,” “not” and “or” in your online searches. This is a smart thing to do when you are more familiar with what you’re searching for and know which terms you wish to include or exclude.

The concept of Boolean searches also is applicable when you use simple pluses and minuses in your queries. This is a faster way to accomplish the goal of Boolean searches. If you want a certain term included in results type a “ ” before the term in your search. If you want to guarantee something doesn’t show up in your results, simple precede it with a “-“ in your search.

Be precise

Preciseness is one of the simplest ways to ensure better search results. Using general phrases can often leave you with thousands of results that have little to nothing to do with what you’re searching for.

Using quotation marks is a good way to ensure better search results. Most search engines recognize that as a request for an exact phrase search. So, if you’re looking for a company and know the exact name, it may be in your best interest to search for it in quotes.

These three strategies can make quite the difference when it comes to relevance of search results. Applying them can almost guarantee that you will spend much less time sifting through results you don’t want.

If you’d like more advice on performing better online searches, check out this article.

 

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