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Attempt these refinements to your key phrase search to enhance the relevance of Google search outcomes.

Two screenshots, focused in on the Google search bar and number of results. First, shows search for three terms: case management software, with 2+ billion results. Second shows search:

Picture: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic (Screenshot:

A key phrase search on could be an effective way to study extra about many matters. Enter a couple of phrases and obtain ends in beneath a second or so. Usually, the displayed outcomes will both provide the reply you search or present a hyperlink to a related web page.

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However while you wish to discover a subject in depth, you may enhance the usefulness of your outcomes with a couple of easy search methods. For instance, I used to be serving to a non-profit group establish potential case administration software program options. The essential search of the three key phrases returned greater than 2 billion outcomes. A couple of search refinements narrowed the outcomes to only over 76,000.

The next five-step method will enable you refine your search with using quotes to group phrases, mixed with methodical exclusion and inclusion of key phrases.

1. Alter Google search settings

For severe looking out, I recommend you modify your default Google search preferences (Determine A). Whereas on in a desktop-class browser, choose Settings (decrease proper nook) then Search Settings. In most organizational environments, I like to recommend the next changes:

  • Allow SafeSearch to exclude express content material from the outcomes,
  • Alter the variety of outcomes per web page to 50 to show a major variety of outcomes,
  • Choose “Don’t present standard searches” to cut back the affect of trending matters, and
  • Choose the “Open every chosen end in a brand new browser window” so you could discover hyperlinks with out having to repeatedly re-enter your search.

Scroll to the underside of the web page and choose Save after you make these adjustments.

Determine A

Screenshot of Google Search Settings page, with SafeSearch on, 50 results per page selected, Do not show popular searches set, and option to Open each selected result in a new browser window checked.

In most organizational settings, I recommend you make a couple of adjustments to the default Google Search Settings, corresponding to turning on SafeSearch and setting the variety of outcomes per web page to 50.

2. Put search key phrase phrase(s) in quotes

Once you enter your preliminary search, put quotes round key phrases to point a particular phrase (Determine B). In my instance, outcomes for 3 key phrases with no quotes (i.e., case administration software program) return greater than 6 billion outcomes. Why? As a result of a web page solely must have any a kind of three phrases on it to advantage inclusion. Outcomes for the three key phrases positioned in quotes (i.e., “case administration software program”) requires a web page to include these three particular phrases in sequence. On this instance, using quotes narrows the variety of outcomes to rather less than 2.3 million. 

You could use a number of units of quotes to return hyperlinks to pages that include each phrases (e.g., “quantum computing” “quantum supremacy”).

Assessment the returned outcomes — all the way in which to the underside of the web page. If you happen to detect a number of outcomes that aren’t what you need, make an observation of widespread key phrases in these undesirable outcomes.

Determine B

Screenshot of Google search for

Put quotes round key phrases to seek for a particular phrase.

3. Exclude sure outcomes with –

Subsequent, modify your search a bit. After your preliminary key phrase phrase (or phrases) in quotes, add a – adopted by a phrase you famous within the undesirable outcomes. In my instance, “case administration software program” returned many outcomes associated to programs utilized by regulation corporations. So, I prolonged my search to exclude outcomes with two key phrases (e.g., -legal -law). This decreased the variety of outcomes to about 240,000 (Determine C) — roughly 10% of the variety of pages returned once I used solely the three-keyword phrase in quotes.

Once more, assessment the complete web page of returned outcomes. If you happen to nonetheless discover many non-desirable pages, repeat the exclusion course of once more with a further – adopted by a standard undesirable key phrase.

Determine C

Screenshot of Google search for

Assessment the preliminary set of outcomes, then modify your search to exclude pages with key phrases not related to the pages you need. Use a – image in entrance of a time period to exclude pages with a key phrase, as proven (e.g., -legal -law).

4. Require outcomes with +

To refine the outcomes additional, add a key phrase whose presence will increase the probability {that a} web page will likely be related. In my instance, since I sought software program for the non-profit group, I added +non-profit as a further time period in my search (Determine D). Now, each web page returned wanted to have the key phrase “non-profit” on it in some vogue. This modified the variety of outcomes from 240,000 within the prior step to barely greater than 76,000.

Once more, assessment the whole preliminary outcomes web page. If wanted, add any further required phrases (e.g., place a + in entrance of the time period). Word that you just additionally might place a + in entrance of key phrases contained inside a quote (e.g., +”cloud computing”) to require the presence of a phrase.

Determine D

Screenshot of Google search for

Use + earlier than a key phrase to specify that outcomes pages should embody that time period. On this instance, pages should embody the time period non-profit as a result of final key phrase (i.e., +non-profit).

5. Discover outcomes

After you full the above sequence, you need to have a web page of fifty extremely related outcomes to discover. I usually will open round 10 hyperlinks, assessment these pages, then proceed to peruse one other set. Typically these pages present further hyperlinks to discover and in addition assist me establish key phrases for extra searches. I save pages for later assessment to the Chrome studying listing, as a Chrome bookmark or as a hyperlink with a word in Google Maintain.

What search methods do you utilize?

After I wish to discover a topic deeply, I additionally have a tendency to look different sources. Wikipedia serves as a strong start line for a lot of matters, particularly when pages have detailed “see additionally,” “references” and “additional studying” sections with hyperlinks. Twitter searches assist me discover individuals who tweet about matters through “prime” and “most up-to-date” searches. For extra sources, I search with DuckDuckGo, Mojeek or Qwant to entry totally different units of outcomes.

What search methods do you utilize while you wish to study extra a few subject? What search suggestions do you advise folks in your group use? Let me understand how you discover related data — both with a remark under or on Twitter (@awolber). 

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