How to go beyond the advanced search page means to get a bit more technical.
I have found that for my own searching of the visible web, the google advanced Search Page works well.
But, of course, that Advanced Search Page with its “fill in the blanks” approach is not for everyone. The more tech savvy people seem to prefer the “under my control” type of searching, That is, doing your own search strings.
That’s great for those of you that are born after 1980. Me, I’m a way before the 80’s baby and will take all the help that I can get.
That “type all the operators” kind of search, reminds me of the old days using DOS and the command line and it’s not exactly a pleasant memory.
But, as I mentioned in the last blog post that I would go beyond the Advanced Search Page, I’ll certainly give it a shot.
At one time or another I have used most of the operators that go further and have found that Google Search operators and terminology can change rapidly, often and even disappear. Always check the Google Search help pages for the latest info when the operator doesn’t work as advertised or can’t be found.
DO IT YOUR SELF SEARCH STRINGS.
The Google advanced search operators use the form:
NOTE – There is no space either in front of the : or behind the :
In using the manual type of search one of the most interesting operators is:
I use it after the original search has turned up a particularly interesting page. Using the site: operator is great for getting deeper into the site. If you want to analyze the content of the site, it’s a very good tool.
A second operator to use in similar situations is filetype:.
filetype:pdf pdf pages
filetype:xlsx Excel pages
There are many more file types that Google recognizes. So you could combine the two operators to find a particular filetype in a single site by entering the following in the search box.
Location on the page:
The next six operators dictate where on the page your search terms are found.
This operator returns pages that have the query word in the url. Yes that’s word, singular. If you need a phrase, use the next operator.
This operator returns pages with the phrase in the url.
This operator returns pages that have the query word in the the title of the page. Again, that’s word, singular. If you need a phrase the use the next operator.
Like the other allin operator above, it returns pages with the phrase in the title.
This operator returns pages that have the query word in the text or body of the page. Again, that’s word, singular. If you need a phrase the use the next operator.
Like the other two allin operators above, it returns pages with the phrase in the body text of the page.
Most of the operators that we will look at in this post can be combined together to make a really focused search. All you have to do is type both the operator, the : and the query with no spaces. Add a space and then add the next search term.
Again, the space in between the two terms is interpreted as a Boolean AND by Google. And Yes, the basic Boolean terms work the same way we learned in the first post and reviewed in the second post.
Another operator I have used is:
This operator will return pages that Google thinks are related in content. You can imagine how this would be helpful after finding a really interesting site. Ask Google to find more pages just like this one.
The next operator is always helpful when you find that a site is down or has been deleted or otherwise missing. Just use the operator:
Entering the URL of the missing page after the : will return the page that Google cached from the last crawl of its bot. Very Handy.
Conclusions: We have barely scratched the surface of what is available in Google Search and its Advanced Search capabilities. Hang in there, we’ll keep plugging away, trying to learn and practice searching for the information available on the web.
In the next post I’ll look at some of the quick information operators. They return information that we can use in our everyday world.
There are other search engines besides Google. A comparison page can be found at:
The chart compares Google with Bing and DuckDuckGo search.