Last week I wrote about searching the internet to solve your tech problems.
The key to quickly finding the right answer is learning how to use advanced search techniques.
Searching for one-word terms is easy, but as the search terms grow, so do the returns that don’t have anything to do with your query.
If you search for Dallas Cowboys, you will get returns for the Dallas football team, the city of Dallas and for ropin’ and ridin’ cowboys.
If you’d like to narrow down your search to only the football Cowboys, put the words in quotes, like “Dallas Cowboys.”
If you’d like to find web pages about real cowboys, not football players, you can use an exclude term, which would be cowboys -football.
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 call up a whole page of advanced searches at google.com/advanced_search. Here you’ll find search boxes with all these advanced searches, plus searches on a specific language, regions or countries and including files of a specific type.
You can also turn SafeSearch on or off, which will filter out explicit results.
Searching for images
Did you know 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.
If you have a photo you’d like to learn about, you can do a reverse image search on the picture and bring up similar photos.
Want more information on that beer you’re drinking? Snap a photo of the can and upload it to Google and you’ll get other photos of the can with more information.
Searching 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.
Want 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 return page.
News search is also a good way to see what different news outlets are saying about whatever topic you like.
Other search engines
I’ve mentioned Google a lot in this column, but these tips work equally 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 can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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