As of January 2014, there were some 861,379,000 registered Web host names. That is one crazy huge number! With nearly one billion websites out there, finding that one page you really need can feel like trying to find a robot in a galaxy far, far away.
Google is a pretty amazing search engine. But, even the all-powerful Google can sometimes fail to find the information you want in the vast, never-ending vacuum of cyber-space. It seems like no matter what combination of keywords you type in (robots, bots, androids, etc.), no matter how you phrase them (robotic automatons, automaton cyborgs, etc.), sometimes, the search engine returns results that are not at all related to what you have in mind. Sometimes, it is way, way, WAY off. Or it is getting close but just not quite finding what you’re looking for. You just know that the information is on one or more of those websites and you know Google is smart and pretty amazing so why is Google failing you so miserably? It’s so frustrating!
Don’t despair. Don’t give up. You’re better than that! You are better than a StormTrooper! There are certain tricks you can use to overcome the odds, and get Google to find the droids that you’re actually looking for. Here are a few tricks that will set you on the path to finding those droids:
- Use Quotation Marks to Find Exact Phrases
- Use a Dash to Exclude a Word From Your Search Query
- Use a Tilde to Include Synonyms of Your Search Terms
- Search Within a Website For Specific Pages
StormTroopers Have Nothing on You!
Even though you might not have found the information you were looking for on your first pass, chances are, you will if you use quotation marks, dashes, and tildes in your search terms. These tricks will take your search capabilities up a notch or two. You’ll be Googling better than a StormTrooper in no time flat. Happy hunting, and if you have any questions or extra tips, feel free to share in the comments.