We’re getting back to the way basic on this one. When creating a blog post, odds are you will end up Googling something. Sometimes you want something specific and you just aren’t finding it. Again, this may be redundant for some of you experts, but finding ways to effectively search will get you higher quality information for your content.
How long should your search query be? Recommendations run the gamut from shorter is better to longer can make it more specific. A happy medium tends to fall in a long tail strategy of 3-5 words. It’s long enough to be specific but short enough that you won’t rule too much out.
Operators are not just on the phone, but can be a great use for getting your search more specific. Some common examples are:
- “site:” allows you to search for something within a specific website. Looking for information just from the CDC website on ebola? Try searching: site:cdc.gov ebola and you’ll get results on ebola from just the CDC.
- “filetype:” lets you select if you want a pdf, doc, jpeg, etc.
- “info:” can pull information on a specific website like similar pages, pages that link to it, and even cached versions of the page. It will look something like this: info:ingenexdigital.com
- “link:” helps you find links that go to a certain page.
A couple other quick tips besides operators:
- If you want articles in a specific date range, put two periods between the years (2008..2010).
- If you’re doing a broad search, you can narrow it by using a hyphen to remove the words you don’t want included in results.
- A tilde will search terms related to that word. For example, searching ~school would also show results for college, education, or another related term.
- And of course, putting multiple words in quotes will search for that exact phrase in results.
Looking to take a fun break from researching, Google these fun things to get a giggle: tilt, do a barrel roll, zerg rush. Don’t worry, it’s nothing crazy, just a little fun!