Archive for March 12th, 2011

March 12, 2011

How To Use Google To Search

Seems like it would be obvious, doesn’t it? Usually it is, but type of search and query syntax require a bit more knowledge. If in need, they are worth the extra effort.

So many choices! Which Google search to use?

Start with regular Google search. By “regular”, I am referring to the bread-and-butter of search engines, Google universal search. You can find search syntax here, How to use Google universal search. That Search Engine Land post describes specific Google search options, by file type and subject matter, such as Image, Video, News, Shopping, and Travel, see below.

Google universal search screen shot example

Google Universal Search

This detailed guide maintained by Google describes the meaning of each item returned on the search results pages. It is a great resource!

Try Google Blog Search and Books too. [Update: Blog Search has been discontinued.]

Google search

Special searches and more

For more subtle or granular inquiries, Google provides special searches. I wrote a detailed post on Google special search syntax a few weeks ago.

Google maintains a search resource page of documents for localization help, page removal from the index, and all sorts of specific user support FAQs.

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March 12, 2011

Google Books Error Page

Google Books.

Google Books error message

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March 12, 2011

War on Content Farms Now in Progress

Farmer's market, Jul 2009 - 01

Content fresh from the farm

Google Declares War on Content Farms:

Google has announced a major algorithmic change to its search engine. Impact on users will be subtle while dramatically improving the quality of Google’s search results…

Google is targeting content farms.

This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites — sites which copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful…. It will provide better rankings for sites with original content, such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.

The change should make it easier to find high quality sites.

Google did not give details of the change, which should impact 11.8% of Google’s queries (currently only in the U.S., with plans to roll it out elsewhere over time), but it does say that it will affect the ranking of many sites on the web.

The list of related articles I have hand selected (just like I dredge through string beans in order to find the very best ones) may be of further interest to those with a sense of humor. Or without a personal stake in content farming.