Making the most of online searching

How many results do you get when you search for something online? Too many? Too few? Totally irrelevant results? Maybe it’s time to learn how to use the search engines more effectively.

Now, this may not seem terribly relevant to being home with your family, but there are many useful tools out there if you only know how to find them. Online coupons, free or affordable advertising, ideas for family activities and crafts, and so forth.

The most basic search you can do is to simply type a word or phrase into the search engine, say online coupons for diapers. In Google, this comes up with 34,700 results, many of which are not relevant.

Now try putting the phrase into quotation marks: “online coupons for diapers.” Ugh. One listing right now, and it’s no good. Try moving the quotes around and leave out the for: “online coupons” diapers. Now we’re getting somewhere. Only 6,020 listings. But what about your preferred brand?

There are many operators you can use in your search. OR (use capitals) allows you to search for more than one phrase at a time, such as “online diaper coupons” OR “diaper coupons online”. 32 results for that one, and they’re looking better all the time.

Now, if you absolutely don’t want a particular brand, use the “–“ operator. This tells the search to not include results with a given keyword or phrase.

Suppose you know there are a lot of synonyms for a word. The tilde (”~”) includes synonyms in the search when you use Google.

Did you know Google lets you search by price? Include a price range and try it out when you want to buy something online. Just type the price in the format $x..x where the x’s represent dollar amounts. You can do this for any sort of number, not just dollars. It works for weights, years and so forth.

Just think what you can find online for your home or your home business when you know how to search effectively. Just remember to be as specific as possible to keep your search results clean.


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