Archive for the ‘searching’ Category

the google tutorial – part 1

December 19, 2008

The web was made for SHARING, not for hoarding and not for selling. It’s very STRUCTURE will deliver searchers whatever they are looking for… Fravia

Today I’m going to start teaching you how to use google and I’ll start with the vary basics.


Let’s begin with the basics. You know ofcourse that you can enter several words in the search field. Google defaults to the logical AND operator. Translated into human language that means it will search for all the words in your search. If you want to look for either this or that then you have to use the OR operator. Take to use uppercase for the OR operator. Otherwise google will search for the word or.


Since you most probably want to combine AND and OR, you will have to use parentheses for that. Let’s say you own a travelmate 8100 and you are looking for a manual, either in english or in your native language, which in my case is dutch. The dutch word for manual is “gebruiksaanwijzing.” The abbreviation tm8100 is quite common,  so I also want to include that. To achieve that I would put the following in the google search field:

(manual OR gebruiksaanwijzing) (tm8100 OR (travelmate 8100))

quotes and wildcards.

Everything between “quotes” is a literal string. To google yourself, you can simply enter your first name and last name and put the whole between quotes. If you’re looking for an exact phrase,  and you’re not exactly sure about one or two of the words in between you can use the asterisk (*). Suppose you are looking for a Frank Zappa song and you remember there was a phrase in it, like “watch out where the … go”. You know it was a certain dog, you just can’t remember the species. Then just type in google:

“watch out where the * go”

refining your search with + and/or –

Google will filter out common words from your search, like I, is, a, the etc. Suppose you’re looking for the first part of a sequel. In that case you want to include the I in your search. To do this you simply put a + in front of it. When you put – in front of the word, no results with that word are shown. for example: -price -buy -store -ebay -amazon, removes a lot of  commercial clutter from your results.

Let’s look at an example, to combine most of what we’ve learned so far:

Suppose you are looking for music an artist who uses several names. Let’s take Matthew Herbert aka Herbert,  Doctor Rockit, Radio Boy, Mr. Vertigo, Transformer  and Wishmountain. You want to try several types for the music let’s say mp3, ogg, flac and wma. And you want an immediate download without to much fuss. So you want a download from rapidhare, megaupload or depositfiles. We then end up with the following phrase:

(Matthew Herbert OR Herbert OR ” Doctor Rockit” OR  Radio Boy OR “Mr. Vertigo” OR  Transformer OR Wishmountain) (mp3 OR ogg OR flac OR wma) ( OR OR

Nice, the first result is a direct hit. 😀

google help: basic operators


Fravia – Learn to swim in the quicksand of the web

December 16, 2008

If you want to learn how to search the web, check this site. It has a terrible structure and contains a lot of outdated information, but it still contains wonderful essays if you want to learn how to search the net. Google is great, if you know how to use it. And there are lots of other tools. Check Wikipedia for a list of current search engines, each with a specific purpose. Wikipedia in itself is of course a great source to find anything you want.

Unfortunately Fravia has been diagnosed with a tumor. Let’s hope he will live to survive that. But after months of therapy he’s still not sure about his chances. Life can be cruel. While you still can, check out his site if you’re willing to spend time learning to search. It can safe you a lot of time in the future if you want to find something specific which can not be easily found. That’s probably why I love it so much, since it happens to me a lot.