Learn how to make internet searching work for you

Last week I wrote about searching the Internet to solve your technical problems.

The key to quickly finding the right answer is to learn how to use advanced search techniques.

Searching for single word terms is easy, but as the search terms grow, so do the returns that have nothing to do with your query.

When you search for Dallas Cowboys, you get returns for the Dallas football team, the city of Dallas and for ropin’ and ridin’ cowboys.

If you want to limit your search to just the football Cowboys, put the words in quotation marks, such as “Dallas Cowboys.”

If you want to find websites about real cowboys, not football players, you can use an excluded term, that would be cowboys -football.

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You can search within a specific site by using “site:”, like searching for Dallas Cowboys videos on YouTube by using site:youtube.com Dallas Cowboys.

You can access a full page of advanced searches at google.com/advanced_search. Here you will find search boxes with all these advanced searches, plus searches on a specific language, region or countries and including files of a specific type.

You can also enable or disable SafeSearch, which will filter explicit results.

Looking for images

Did you know that Google can search for images?

If you want to find pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, you can search for that term and click the “Images” link on the results page.

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If you have a photo you want to learn about, you can do a reverse image search on the photo and pull up similar photos.

Want more information about that beer you’re drinking? Snap a picture of the can and upload it to Google and you’ll get other pictures of the can with more information.

Looking for news

One of my favorite searches is for news.

Want to find the absolute most recent articles on your search topic? Try a Google News search.

Would you like to read a review of the concert you attended last week? Type in the name of the band and then click News on the search back page.

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News search is also a good way to see what different news outlets have to say about whatever topic you want.

Other search engines

I’ve mentioned Google a lot in this column, but these tips work just as well in other search engines.

If you don’t use Google for whatever reason, I recommend Duck Duck Go (duckduckgo.com) as a good search alternative, and the site that doesn’t track you or share or sell your search history.

You can even make Duck Duck Go your default search engine in most browsers.

Jim Rossman is a tech columnist for Tribune News Service. He is reachable [email protected].

©2022 Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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