Searching 101

Three tips for better search results.

Published July 29, 2008 5:01PM (EDT)

All of the talk about Cuil (my own included) reminded me how lazy I am when it comes to searching.

Like most people I know I type in what I'm looking for with zero forethought and wind up clicking through pages of near hits and misses.

Smarter search results are just a few easy keystrokes away -- the hard part is remembering to use them.

Here are the top three tips for smarter searches:

1) Surround exact phrases with quotation marks, such as "been down so long it all looks up to me," to turn up exact matches.

2) Use "or" to find Web pages containing some but not necessarily all of what you're looking for, such as MobileMe or "Mental Meltdown" or "Remember to Breathe."

3) Use the minus sign to find pages that don't include certain words or phrases, such as cuil -sex -drugs -rock-and-roll.

To recap: " and or and - equal smarter searches, provided you remember to use them.

Got your own tips and tricks for smarter searches? Please share.

By Joe Hutsko

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