What are some ways to get more relevant and accurate internet search results?

QA_SearchWebLet’s face it; searching the internet can be a frustrating endeavor. In some ways it’s almost a struggle between you, searching for the exact information you need, and the millions of advertisers trying to entice you into looking at what they want you to see, namely their products or services.

This may seem like a losing battle, but there are some ways to effectively narrow down your results to sites that are far more likely to take you to the information you seek. You just need to know how search engines like Google “think”.

Although most search engines are trying to employ a more human element in the way they structure and display results, the fact remains that they are still very logical in their approach to providing results to queries, and you can use that to your advantage.

Here are a few tips which will lead to far better search results:

  • Use quotes to your advantage when seeking very specific information that has multiple words. For example, typing: “Omnibus HIPAA compliance requirements” with the quotes as shown can yield far more specific results than just typing it without quotes.
  • You can also insert an asterisk into a search in quotes to represent missing words you’re unsure of, like this: “a * saved is a * earned”
  • Add a hyphen directly in front of a word (no space) to ignore results that contain it. For example, try typing the following: impala speed -animal
  • You can use the word OR to include results with one of several words, such as: cosmetic allergies base OR mascara OR rouge
  • Limiting a search to a specific site or domain is another neat capability. If you want to find all mentions of Shelby at the New York Auto Show, simply type: shelby site:autoshowny.com
  • Be specific, but simple. Sounds contradictory, but really try to think about what key words you would use to describe what you are looking for.
  • As is always the rule, if you suspect any search result link may be unsafe, DON’T click on it. When in doubt, question.

If you have any questions about web searching or the security of your systems and network, feel free to give us a call.

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