[This article is originally published in popsci.com written by David Nield - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Joshua Simon]

BROWSING HISTORY

Many sites keep tabs on your past searches.

rawpixel via Pixabay

Every time you run a search online, the websites where you maintain an account can record that information. This data—collected and stored by search engines like Google, social media networks like Facebook, and retail giants like Amazon—won't disappear when you erase your browser's search history.

Ostensibly, these sites use your search history to assemble a profile of you, allowing them to show you content or products that will appeal to your interests. Conveniently for these tech companies, better understanding your preferences also lets them serve you targeted advertisements. On the bright side, a service can only collect this information while you're logged into your account for that site. Still, if you're uncomfortable with this record of your past searches, or you don't want them to influence your future browsing (maybe you've run a lot of queries for camping accessories but no longer want to see ads for related products), you can scrub them from existence.

To do so, you'll have to go through your accounts one by one. Here's how to purge your search history on some of the biggest and most popular search engines, social media networks, and retail websites.

Google

When you search for something in one of Google's services—which include email, mapping, calendars, messaging, file storage, video, and more—the service logs all of that information. Your search history helps the tech company tailor your search results. For example, if you rarely look up sports-related terms, a new search for "dolphins" is more likely to relate to the aquatic mammals rather than Miami's NFL team. Your data also tells Google which ads are more likely to get you to click.

To erase this information, head to Google's My Account page and log in. Among the many options, you'll find pages on account privacy, data logging, and security. Click Go to my activity followed by Filter by date & product. Here, you can view your search history, which appears on a separate page for each Google product. For example, one page lets you view your search engine history, another displays YouTube searches, and you can even check out your spoken Google Home queries.

Pick one of these categories—we recommend that you start with the main Google search engine, accessed by choosing Search. Next, highlight the results you'd like to erase and click the menu button (three dots) to the top right of the list. Finally, hit Delete results. When a confirmation screen pops up, click Delete again, and Google will erase the information you've highlighted. To delete individual entries, look for the smaller menu buttons next to each item on the list. From this menu, you can delete an entry directly.

Bing

Not everyone relies on Google to search the web. If you use Microsoft's Bing search engine instead, you can still clear your history.

First, head to the website and click Sign in. Then click the menu button (three horizontal lines) on the top right, followed by Search history and then View and delete search history. This will take you to a new privacy page on the Microsoft website. Click View and clear search historyClear activity, and then Clear. If you'd rather remove entries from the list one by one, click on any individual Delete button.

This page also lets Microsoft Edge users delete their web browser history. Microsoft stores your browsing history online, as well as within the Edge application on your computer, to make it easier to sync your activity across multiple devices. To erase this information as well, go back to the main menu, select Browse from the list on the left, and then hit Clear activity followed by Clear.

Facebook

While you're poking around Facebook, you may search for a page that interests you, a friend's name, or an event. To view all of your recent queries, open the Facebook website and click on the search box at the top of the page. If you'd like to erase these searches, click the Edit button to the right of the results.

This will bring up a screen that shows a complete log of everything you've ever looked up on Facebook. To remove one entry, click the Edit icon (the no-entry symbol) on the right of the entry, then choose Delete and confirm by hitting Remove search.

To blitz everything in your Facebook search history at once, click Clear Searches on the top right. Then confirm by choosing Clear Searches again on the pop-up window that appears. This will erase all your past queries from Facebook's servers.

Twitter

Like Facebook, Twitter records your recent searches so you can easily access them again. It also lets you delete them.

Visit the Twitter website and click the Search Twitter box at the top of the page. This will pull up your most recent queries, as well as your saved searches—keywords you've told Twitter to save in case you want to run them multiple times. To save a current search, click the three vertical dots to its right and hit Save this search.

However, if you'd prefer to clear your searches, the process is easy. Simply click the Xbutton to the right of any recent or saved search to remove it from the list, no confirmation screen needed. To erase all recent searches in one go, click Clear All. However, this only deletes your recently-run searches—your saved searches will remain untouched.

Amazon

Unlike the other sites on this list, Amazon doesn't keep a log of your search terms—at least, not one you can scroll through and examine. Instead, it records every item you look at on the site. This record influences your recommendations, as well as the ads that appear.

To see everything you've clicked on the site, head to the Amazon website, look at the toolbar at the top of the page, and click Browsing History followed by Your Browsing History. The results will appear in reverse chronological order, from the most recent to the oldest.

Now, to erase them. Click Remove next to any item to, well, remove it. This can help you get rid of one-off purchases that you don't want to receive any more ads about. You can also go nuclear and clear everything at once: Click Manage history followed by Remove all items. When the confirmation screen appears, choose to Remove all items again.

If you'd prefer to have Amazon stop tracking your browsing history, look under the Manage history heading. Then turn off the toggle switch.

Categorized in Search Techniques

Google search is usually used in it’s non-advance form, just putting the keyword in box and hit enter. After that Google does rest of the magic. You might have heard the most polite google user, the sweet Nan who is putting “Thank you” and “please” in every google searches. Google even praises 86-year-old for polite internet searches.

Luckily there is still faster and advance way of getting your search done without being too polite with Google. There are advance tips, tricks and technique in google which can be used to achieve the custom or filtered searches in google.

As in fast moving lifestyle everything need to be done efficiently, this is even true for Google Search.There are many hidden secret in Google search, knowing those tips, tricks and techniques can make you the master at doing Google search, as you will be able to focus on your search by narrowing it down with advanced google operators.

By getting you acquainted with these advanced searches tips and tricks we are making sure that you will be able to find the hidden information rather easily, for instance looking for a specific information or keyword in the website. Also, Searching for a specific word phrase in url or negating some of the keyword while searching will be easier for you. This kind of search is known as Google Advanced Search technique and tricks.

With these right tricks and techniques you can find right results…

Google advanced search is used for specific complex searches, which are not easily accessible through simple Google search. Advance google search option has some requirements about your desired search for a better result rather than simple one.

Example:

  • Medical universities of certain cities.
  • Searching a book with a specific title, heading, description or author.
  • Google advanced search has more accurate and filtered result than normal search. Google advanced search works on special Input queries.

Why we use advanced google search?

Google advanced search option provides more favorable results in less time.
Google advanced search helps you find accurate result.

We are going to give you a lot of google’s advanced search tips and techniques right here. These techniques will help you to find your result more accurately in a very short time.

Google Advanced search options

1. Search in Page Title

Title page tag is an HTML tag for a web page, it defines what page is about. If you are dealing with coffee machine and want to know more about your competitors in the similar domain, you can search in the page title and see what kind of product do they have.

Example

  • allintitle: ‘place your search query here’
  • intitle: ‘place your search query here’

How to use
Searching for “best coffee machine” in title page

2. Search in anchor text

Anchor text is a hyperlink text, which is shown as highlighted in a blog or web page. Like you can hyperlink a productivity technique text in your blog.
User google searches you can even search in the anchor text which is hyperlinked, this is one of the technique for SEO which is used quite heavily to gain more points from google when comes to page ranking.

Here is how you can search in anchor text
Example

  • allinanchor: ‘place your search query here’
  • inanchor: ‘place your search query here’

How to use:

3. Search in URL

If you are writing a blog, it will be good to know what are the existing blogs out there with similar keywords or title, the best to do is to search in the URL of blogs or website, you can use the bellow “allinurl” for this purpose

Example

  • allinurl: ‘place your search query here’
  • inurl: ‘place your search query here’

How to use

4. Search Missing Words

Find missing words in phrases by using star technique. Just place the star signs around the missing words.
How to use

  • better to be *pirate then*
  • What can we gain you *if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates*

5. Search Result By Time

Google “search result by time” technique allows you to find your result in a specific time period. Like if you are a follower of a blog, but you missed last month’s posts then this trick help you to find only previous one month posts.
First, search your query then after result adds “&tbs=qdr:h” at the end of SERP URL.
Example

  • &tbs=qdr:m – Results from past month,

How to use:

  • Search your result first like site: yodiz.com scrum
  • After result appearance add the code (&tbs=qdr:m) in search result url

Some other options

  • &tbs=qdr:s – Results from past sec,
  • &tbs=qdr:n – Results from past minute,
  • &tbs=qdr:h – Results from past hour,
  • &tbs=qdr:d – Results from past day,
  • &tbs=qdr:w – Results from past week,
  • &tbs=qdr:y – Results from past year,

6. Search Result by Date

You can also search your desired result in a specific date range. After searching your result place the operator bellow at the end of url.


Example

  • &tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:(Start Date),cd_max:(End Date)

How to use:

  • &tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:1/01/2010,cd_max:2/06/2012

7. Search using TO or OR

If you want to search result with several keywords then use word “TO” or “OR”.
How to use:

  • football worldcup 2009 to 2016
  • agile or scrum -rugby

8. Translate Quickly

If you need the translation of words then this simple google advanced search trick helps you a lot.
Example

  • translate [word] to [language]

How to use:

  • Translate “how are you” to spanish

9. Looking For Comparison

You can easily find comparison of two different product

How to use:

  • Italy VS Germany
  • EU vs UK

10. Exclude From Search Result

If you are searching for something and don’t want certain information appear in your search then use “-” before the keyword to excluded in search.

Related...

How to use

  • SW development methodologies -waterfall
  • best agile books -site:www.amazon.com

11. Search for Differences

If you are searching difference between two words, then simply put the “ “|”” between two titles.
How to use:

  • Agile “|” waterfall

12. Quick Calculation

If you are in a restaurant and want to know about tip percentage of the bill, then this simple google advanced search calculator will help you a lot.

How to use:

  • Tip calculator

13. Online Timer

Search online timer on google by simply type timer.

14. Search for Title, Text in a Site

To Find Specific Title, Text on Site easy this trick.
Find those pages whose titles are “Agile”, text of the page is scrum and find on yodiz.com site only.

Example

  • intext:(Query) intitle:(Query) site:(Site URL)

How to use

  • intext:scrum intitle:Agile site:yodiz.com
  • intext:coffee intitle:chocolate – site:*.com

15. Search Time

If you want to know about the exact time of your location then type “time” and city name simply in google search box..

How to use
Time Oklahoma

16. Know Your IP Address

Search your IP address by just simply type IP address in google search box.
IP address

Search By Location

If you want to find a specific result like best IT universities in USA the replace this code in your search engine box. Find a specific result on a specific location:

How to use:

  • USA: “Film Schools”

17. Convert Counting

If you want to convert a big amount of counting in english then use this simple easy trick.
Example

  • Counting= Language

How to use

  • 11,200,670,000= Eleven billion two hundred million six hundred seventy thousand

18. Search Related Sites

If you are a chef and want to search other sites for recipes, or you are fond of reading blogs and searching more blogs then use this trick to find more similar sites.

Example

  • Related: ‘place your search query here’

How to use

  • Related: bestbuy.com
  • related: producthunt.com

19. Search Origin Of Word

If you are looking of any words origin then simply type Etymology before the word.

Example

  • Etymology (Word, Name, Place)

How to use

  • Etymology admiral

20. Specific Complex Search

If you want to find a result from a specific site with a specific phrase, and exclude some keywords also, and want to search in a specific time period then alter this given trick to your search.

  • Site:techcrunch.com ”mobile”-apple 2014..2015

21. Search By File Type

Find PDF documents with a specific topic.


How to use

  • filetype:pdf Scrum vs kanban
  • Filetype:doc (Search Query)
  • Filetype:ps (Search Query)
  • Filetype:doc (Search Query)
  • Filetype:xls (Search Query)
  • Filetype:ppt (Search Query)
  • Filetype:rtf (Search Query)

22. Search By Domain Extension

If you are looking a special government, educational or training site then use this technique to get more efficient way.
How to use

  • site:.org OR site:.edu OR site:.gov “cancer research”

23. Search On a Specific Site

If you want to search a specific result from a specific site then use this technique.

How to use

  • site mit.edu admissions

24. Find Recipes

If you are fond of eating or want to search any food item then use the given trick to get more accurate result.
Example
Recipe site: ‘place your search query here’
How to use

  • recipe site: ratatouille

25. Search Site Cache

If you want to search any site cache then simply type cache: now place site address.

26. Search for Exact Phrase

Use quotation marks for an exact phrase search, with same words in the same order.
Place quotation marks (“) around the phrase you’d like to search for.

How to use

  • “31 Most Common Bad SEO Mistakes and Practices To Avoid”

27. Online Stopwatch

Search online stopwatch on google by simply type stopwatch.

Source: This article was published yodiz.com By Yodiz Team

Categorized in Search Techniques

When it comes to searching information on the web, the first thing we will think of is definitely Google. Without a doubt, Google is the best search engine giving Internet users, from students to professional researcher the most relevant results for every query. In most cases you’re happy with the results but sometimes you may not. This could be due to unclear search query you’ve typed in and the search engine don't understand what exact online content you are looking for.

To help you become a more sophisticated Google searcher, below we’ve shared 13 very useful Google tricks and techniques to refine your search. We believe they will assist you to get more relevant and accurate search results in the shortest possible time. Hope you’ll find this article beneficial.

1. Using Google.com to Get All the Latest Features

Google are available in many country-specific versions such as Google.com, Google.co.uk, Google.co.jp, Google.co.in, etc. In order to get all the search features our of this search engine, we recommend you to use Google.com as this version always get the latest feature updates and it supports all the search techniques.

When you search ‘www.google.com’ in the web browser’s address bar, it usually redirects you to the Google version of your country. However you can override it by using ‘www.google.com/ncr’ instead. The ‘ncr’ stands for ‘no country redirect’, it’ll bring you back to Google.com.

2. Keep Your Search Query Short and Simple

Less is more, always type in the most relevant and important keywords then keep them short so that the search engine can return with more results. Try to avoid searching query in long sentence as it will cause the search engine confused returning irrelevant and very limited results.

Example:
Search ‘largest country’
is better than
‘what is the largest country in the world’

keep_search_query_short_simple

3. Keep Your Keywords in the Right Order

Keywords in the query are the most important factor that determines the relevance and effectiveness of the search results. Hence it’s important to choose the keywords wisely. Try to figure out what words most authors would write to describe the content you’re searching for.

If you are searching for quotes or phrases, try to keep the order of the words accurate to get the best results.

Example:
Search ‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower’ – quoted by Steve Jobs
is better than
‘A follower and a leader distinguished by innovation’

keep_keywords_order_right

4. Get Rid of Redundant things in Your Search Query

The intelligent Google is capable to take care of the typos and other unnecessary things in your search query. Hence the following things can be ignored when typing your search query:

  • Letter cases (uppercase or lowercase)
  • Spelling
  • Punctuations (? !) and special characters (()+-)

5. Using Boolean Connectors in Your Search Term

By adding Boolean connectors in your search query, you will be able to make a more complex and focused searches.

Add plus sign ‘+’ before a word to view each word separately in the search results.
Example: seo+google+blog

Place a minus sign ‘-‘ prior a word to exclude that particular word in the search results.
Example: web design tutorials-paid
Google will return results with free web design tutorials.

Include quotation mark ‘’’’ to search consecutive words of a phrase.
Example: “search engine optimization”

Likewise you can use hyphens ‘-‘ to replace quotation marks for the same results.
Example: search-engine-optimization

Put ‘and’ between 2 words/phrases will get the results that contain both these words/phrases.
Example: iphone and galaxy note

Include ‘not’ in the search term to eliminate part of the search results.
Example: Taylor Swift not singer

Place ‘or’ between 2 words/phrases in the search query will get the results that contain either or both these words/phrases.
Example: Steve Jobs or Bill Gates

6. Using Social Search Techniques

When it comes to searching content on social networks, Google lets you look for social profiles,pages and content in a easy way as follows:-

By adding ‘+’ before a profile name allows you to search Google Plus profiles and page.

Example:
+‘profile name’
e.g. +quertime

By adding ‘#’ before a word enables you to search hashtags on Twitter, Google Plus and other social networking sites.

Example:
#‘word’
e.g. #selfie

Or you may add ‘@’ before a person’s name to search for his/her social accounts.

Example:
@‘person’s name’
e.g. @jules

7. Searching Sunrise and Sunset Times of a City

There’s an easy way to search sunrise and sunset times for a specific city.
Simply type your query in the format of ‘sunrise city-name’ to get the sunrise time of a particular place or city. To search for sunset times, just replace the word ‘sunrise’ to ‘sunset’ in the same format ‘sunset city-name’.

Example:
sunrise new york
Sunset new york

google_search_sunrise_sunset_times

8. Using Synonym Search

Google has another feature called synonym search where users can search synonyms of a specific words. All you need to do is add a tilde symbol ‘~’ before a word in the search query. The tilde operator works best when searching general terms or terms with many synonyms.

Example:
~healthy food

google_search_synonyms

9. Searching Numbers in a specific Range

If you want to search for numbers in a specific range, such as prices, measurements and dates, all you have to do is add 2 dots between the 2 numbers in your search term. Google will then search the numbers within that range and ignore other results. The 2 dot operators should be placed after the minimum number and before the maximum number as shown in the example below.

Example: 

iphone $400..$600
smart tv 40..60 inches

10. Searching Specific File Type

Another handy operator you can use is ‘filetype’ where you can tell Google to search for a specific file type and skip other types of files. All you have to do is type your search query in the format of filetype:‘specific format of file’ followed by other words.

Example:
filetype:pdf graphic design

google_search_specific_file_type

11. Using Trigger Words to search certain types of search results

You may consider including some trigger words in your search term to get certain types of search results.

Examples:
How to – ‘how to build a website’
Images – ‘Steve Jobs images’
Videos – ‘National geographic videos’

12. Using Combined Search Operators Techniques

Google doesn’t restrict you from using more than 1 search operator. Hence you can use a few search techniques in a single search query in order to get a more filtered and focused results. We recommend you should not use more than 3 search operators in your complex search query.

Example:
site:quertime.com web design OR graphic design
filetype:jpg “web design” tutorials

 

13. Using Google Advanced Search Techniques

If you still unable to find the information you want, try out Google advanced search for a more detailed search. In this search form, you can better search web pages with specific words. Additionally you can narrow the results by selecting the language, region, file type, type of usage right, etc. you want.

google_advanced_search

Author: Jules, Quertime Editorial

Source:  http://www.quertime.com

Categorized in Search Techniques

These days, everyone is expected to be up to speed on Internet search techniques. But there are still a few tricks that some users -- and even savvy searchers -- may not be aware of.

Did you hate memorizing seemingly insignificant facts for tests at school? No photographic memory? Good news! Life is now an open-book exam — assuming you have a computer, browser, and Internet access. If you know how to use a good search engine, you don't have to stuff your mind with facts that are useful only when playing Jeopardy! and Trivial Pursuit.

Chances are, you aren't the first person to run across the problem you are experiencing. Chances are also good that an answer is awaiting your discovery on the Internet — you just have to remove the irrelevant pages and the unhelpful/incorrect results to find that needle in the haystack.

Google has been fanatical about speed. There is little doubt that it has built an incredibly fast and thorough search engine. Unfortunately, the human element of the Internet search equation is often overlooked. These 10 tips are designed to improve that human element and better your Internet search skills. (Note: All examples below refer to the Google search engine.)

1: Use unique, specific terms

It is simply amazing how many Web pages are returned when performing a search. You might guess that the terms blue dolphin are relatively specialized. A Google search of those terms returned 2,440,000 results! To reduce the number of pages returned, use unique terms that are specific to the subject you are researching.

2: Use the minus operator (-) to narrow the search

How many times have you searched for a term and had the search engine return something totally unexpected? Terms with multiple meanings can return a lot of unwanted results. The rarely used but powerful minus operator, equivalent to a Boolean NOT, can remove many unwanted results. For example, when searching for the insect caterpillar, references to the company Caterpillar, Inc. will also be returned. Use Caterpillar -Inc to exclude references to the company or Caterpillar -Inc -Cat to further refine the search.

3: Use quotation marks for exact phrases

I often remember parts of phrases I have seen on a Web page or part of a quotation I want to track down. Using quotation marks around a phrase will return only those exact words in that order. It's one of the best ways to limit the pages returned. Example: "Be nice to nerds".Of course, you must have the phrase exactly right — and if your memory is as good as mine, that can be problematic.

4: Don't use common words and punctuation

Common terms like a and the are called stop words and are usually ignored. Punctuation is also typically ignored. But there are exceptions. Common words and punctuation marks should be used when searching for a specific phrase inside quotes. There are cases when common words like the are significant. For instance, Raven and The Raven return entirely different results.

5: Capitalization

Most search engines do not distinguish between uppercase and lowercase, even within quotation marks. The following are all equivalent:

  • technology
  • Technology
  • TECHNOLOGY
  • "technology"
  • "Technology"

6: Drop the suffixes

It's usually best to enter the base word so that you don't exclude relevant pages. For example, bird and not birds, walk and not walked. One exception is if you are looking for sites that focus on the act of walking, enter the whole term walking.

7: Maximize AutoComplete

Ordering search terms from general to specific in the search box will display helpful results in a drop-down list and is the most efficient way to use AutoComplete. Selecting the appropriate item as it appears will save time typing. You have several choices for how the AutoComplete feature works:

Use Google AutoComplete. The standard Google start page will display a drop-down list of suggestions supplied by the Google search engine. This option can be a handy way to discover similar, related searches. For example, typing in Tucson fast will not only bring up the suggestion Tucson fast food but also Tucson fast food coupons. Use browser AutoComplete. Use this Google start page to disable the Google AutoComplete feature and display a list of your previous searches in a drop-down box. I find this particularly useful when I've made dozens of searches in the past for a particular item. The browser's AutoComplete feature must be turned on for this option to work. Click one of these links for instructions detailing how to turn AutoComplete on or off in I.E. and Firefox.

Examples:

  • Visual Basic statement case
  • Visual Basic statement for
  • Visual Basic call

8: Customize your searches

There are several other less well known ways to limit the number of results returned and reduce your search time:

  • The plus operator (+): As mentioned above, stop words are typically ignored by the search engine. The plus operator tells the search engine to include those words in the result set. Example: tall +and short will return results that include the word and.
  • The tilde operator (~): Include a tilde in front of a word to return results that include synonyms. The tilde operator does not work well for all terms and sometimes not at all. A search for ~CSS includes the synonym style and returns fashion related style pages —not exactly what someone searching for CSS wants. Examples: ~HTML to get results for HTML with synonyms; ~HTML -HTML to get synonyms only for HTML.
  • The wildcard operator (*): Google calls it the fill in the blank operator. For example, amusement * will return pages with amusement and any other term(s) the Google search engine deems relevant. You can't use wildcards for parts of words. So for example, amusement p* is invalid.
  • The OR operator (OR) or (|): Use this operator to return results with either of two terms. For example happy joy will return pages with both happy and joy, while happy | joy will return pages with either happy or joy.
  • Numeric ranges: You can refine searches that use numeric terms by returning a specific range, but you must supply the unit of measurement. Examples: Windows XP 2003..2005, PC $700 $800.
  • Site search: Many Web sites have their own site search feature, but you may find that Google site search will return more pages. When doing research, it's best to go directly to the source, and site search is a great way to do that. Example: site:www.intel.com rapid storage technology.
  • Related sites: For example, related:www.youtube.com can be used to find sites similar to YouTube.
  • Change your preferences: Search preferences can be set globally by clicking on the gear icon in the upper-right corner and selecting Search Settings. I like to change the Number Of Results option to 100 to reduce total search time.
  • Forums-only search: Under the Google logo on the left side of the search result page, click More | Discussions or go to Google Groups. Forums are great places to look for solutions to technical problems.
  • Advanced searches: Click the Advanced Search button by the search box on the Google start or results page to refine your search by date, country, amount, language, or other criteria.
  • Wonder Wheel: The Google Wonder Wheel can visually assist you as you refine your search from general to specific.
  1. Click on More Search Tools | Wonder Wheel in the lower-left section of the screen (Figure A) to load the Wonder Wheel page.
  2. Click on dbms tutorial (Figure B).

Figure A

figure-A

Figure B

figure-B

As you can see in Figure C, Google now displays two wheels showing the DBMS and dbms tutorial Wonder Wheels, with the results for dbms tutorial on the right side of the page. You can continue drilling down the tree to further narrow your search.

Figure C

figure-C

9: Use browser history

Many times, I will be researching an item and scanning through dozens of pages when I suddenly remember something I had originally dismissed as being irrelevant. How do you quickly go back to that Web site? You can try to remember the exact words used for the search and then scan the results for the right site, but there is an easier way. If you can remember the general date and time of the search you can look through the browser history to find the Web page.

10: Set a time limit — then change tactics

Sometimes, you never can find what you are looking for. Start an internal clock, and when a certain amount of time has elapsed without results, stop beating your head against the wall. It's time to try something else:

  • Use a different search engine, like Yahoo!, Bing, Startpage, or Lycos.
  • Ask a peer.
  • Call support.
  • Ask a question in the appropriate forum.
  • Use search experts who can find the answer for you.

The bottom line

A tool is only as useful as the typing fingers wielding it. Remember that old acronym GIGO, garbage in, garbage out? Search engines will try to place the most relevant results at the top of the list, but if your search terms are too broad or ambiguous, the results will not be helpful. It is your responsibility to learn how to make your searches both fast and effective.

The Internet is the great equalizer for those who know how to use it efficiently. Anyone can now easily find facts using a search engine instead of dredging them from the gray matter dungeon — assuming they know a few basic tricks. Never underestimate the power of a skilled search expert.

Source: http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10-things/10-tips-for-smarter-more-efficient-internet-searching/ 

Categorized in Search Engine

Search engines are the backbone of everyday internet use, but are you aware of the hidden tips and tricks available to improve your search? Here are some pointers that'll save you Googling 'how to Google'.
How to be a Google Power User

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source : http://www.visualistan.com/2016/08/how-to-be-google-power-user-infographic.html

Categorized in Search Engine

TRUNCATION AND WILD CARD SYMBOLS

Use to: widen your search and ensure that you don't miss relevant records

Most databases are not intelligent - they just search for exactly what you type in. Truncation and wild card symbols enable you to overcome this limitation. These symbols can be substituted for letters to retrieve variant spellings and word endings.

a wild card symbol replaces a single letter - useful to retrieve alternative spellings and simple plurals

eg wom?n will find woman or women
a truncation symbol retrieves any number of letters - useful to find different word endings based on the root of a word

eg africa* will find africa, african, africans, africaans
eg agricultur* will find agriculture, agricultural, agriculturalist
Important hint! Check the online help screens for details of the symbols recognised by the database you are searching - not all databases use the ? and * symbols.

SEARCH OPERATORS

Use to: combine your search words and include synonym

Also known as Boolean operators, search operators allow you to include multiple words and concepts in your searches. The shaded areas on the diagrams below indicate the records retrieved using each operator.

AND retrieves records containing both words. Boolean AND search operator
In this example the shaded area contains records with both women and africa in the text.
It narrows your search.

Some databases automatically connect keywords with and.

OR retrieves records containing either word. Boolean OR search operator
In this example the shaded area contains records with women, or gender, or both words in the text.
It broadens your search.
You can use this to include synonyms in your search.

NOT retrieves your first word but excludes the second. Boolean NOT search operator
In this example the shaded area indicates that only records containing just Africa will be retrieved (not those with both Africa and Asia)
Beware! By using this operator you might exclude relevant results because you will lose those records which include both words. 

CREATING SEARCH STATEMENTS

Use to: combine multiple search words

On most databases you can type in a search statement, which involves combining your search words using search operators. When creating a search statement you must use brackets to ensure correct processing of the search.

Words representing the same concept should be bracketed and linked with OR
eg (women or gender)
Groups of bracketed terms can then be linked with AND or NOT
This is an example search statement bringing together all the techniques described above:

(wom?n or gender) and agricultur* and africa*

Searches enclosed within brackets will be performed first and their results combined with the other searches.

This is how the search would look when entered into the CAB Abstracts database 

Example search in the CAB databasePHRASE AND PROXIMITY SEARCHING

Phrase searching

Use to: make your search more specific

Phrase searching is a useful technique which can increase the relevance of your results. Sometimes your search may comprise common words which, when combined in an AND search, retrieve too many irrelevant records. Databases use different techniques to specify phrase searching - check the online help.

 

Some web search engines and databases allow you to specify a phrase using inverted commas.
eg "agricultural development"
eg "foot and mouth"

Hint! Some databases automatically perform a phrase search if you do not use any search operators eg agriculture africa is not a phrase used in English so you may not find any items on the subject. Use AND in between your search words to avoid this.

Proximity searching
Use to: make a search more specific and exclude irrelevant records

Some databases use 'proximity operators'. These enable you to specify how near one word must be to another and, in some cases, in what order. This makes a search more specific and excludes irrelevant records. For instance, if you were searching for references about women in Africa, you might retrieve irrelevant records for items about women published in Africa. Performing a proximity search will only retrieve the two words in the same sentence, and so exclude those irrelevant records.

Databases which have this facility vary considerably in their methods
eg: Web of Science - women same africa - retrieves records where the two words appear in the same sentence.

Hint! Check the online help for details of proximity operators recognised by the database you are searching.

ADVANCED SEARCH FEATURES

Many databases offer other more advanced features which you can use to refine your searches further. These techniques include:

Search sets

Your results are displayed as "sets", which can be combined with other searches or new words.

Field-specific searching

Most database records are made up of different fields (eg author, title etc.). Field-specific searching allows you to select a particular field in which to search, rather than performing a keyword search across all fields. Some databases allow you to type words into specific search boxes, whereas in others you will need to type in the field name or its code.

Hint! Check help screens for field names or codes, and other hints on searching specific fields.

Searching using indexes

It is possible to search some databases using indexes, which are usually alphabetical lists of authors or subjects. They allow you to refine your search using the correct form of names or terms as defined on that particular database.

Hint! Not all databases allow searching using indexes. Check the online help on a particular database for more information.

 Example of the limits available in the CAB Abstracts database

 Many databases allow you to limit your search in various ways. Limits are usually available on advanced search screens, or you can apply them after doing your keyword search. An example of the search limits from the CAB Abstracts database is shown on the left.

 

Check the help pages on the database you are using for detailed instructions on applying these limits.Examples of the types of limits you can apply include:

by date

by language

by publication type (eg journal articles, chapters in books, review articles that provide detailed summaries of research, book reviews) 

Source:  https://www.reading.ac.uk/library/finding-info/guides/databases/lib-searching-databases-search-techniques.aspx

Categorized in Search Techniques

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