Database Index

Google Tips and Tricks

1. : Check these tips out. Think you use Google well? We bet you'll find at least one new one in the Google Hacks section.

Basics - using Google's interface:

The Google Advanced Search: Every genealogist should have a use for every option on that page. It's the "Advanced Search" link to the right of the search box. Too many people miss out on this obvious one. First, it's an easy interface for mixing single words with quotes, minus signs and plus signs, but it offers much more. If your searching does not include this mixing of instructions, you're spending way too much time finding what you want, if you find it at all. Eevery genealogist has reason to, at some point, use every single search option offered on that page. Google's Advanced Search Tips really aren't much help, so play around with the variables.

Searching Names Using Exact Phrase (or using quotes on one main Google search page): Wnen searching people's names, don't forget to searchit several ways: Search John Q. Public as "john public", "public john", "john q public" and even "q public" to cover a nickname he might have used.

About States: For Ohio, don't forget to search "ohio" AND "oh". Do this with the word OR between them on the main Google page or enter both terms in the Or field on the Advanced page.

About Cities: For those quaint little towns with unique names, leave the state out of the search to locate pages that may not name it on the page (there are plenty of these out there!)

Using Cached Version: This is a Google Gold Mine. Most search results include a link that says Cached below the description. First, The cashed version of the page will highlight your search terms so you can quickly page down to what you're looking for. Also, if you've ever clicked on a result where you get the message "Page not found", go back and click Cashed and might be there. Then, in that case, go ahead and save the page to your file...unless you can find a link on it to it's author, whom you might email to learn of it's new URL.

About Site Searching: Many large sites do not have good search tools, so use this one at Google.

Google Hacks - some syntaxes Google doesn't tell you about. Most of these tools are available at FaganFinder's Ultimate Google Interface. The following will explain each one and how to use it from Google's basic search box. These are found in the awesome book Google Hacks. You'll find even more with a Google search for google+hacks OR tips OR tricks.

The Wild Card. Google does not allow a wildcard for a letter, but they do for a word. Searching "john * public" will result in pages with anything written inbetween john and public in order. In other words, it will include any middle initial or name.

Title Searching. Preceeding your search term(s) with intitle: finds pages containing your search term(s) in the Title of the page.

URL Searching: Preceeding your search term(s) with inurl: finds pages containing your search term(s) in the URL.

Text Searching: Preceeding your search term(s) with intext: finds pages containing your search term(s) in the text of the page (ignores link text, URL's and titles).

Anchor Searching: Preceeding your search term(s) with inanchor: finds pages with your search term(s) in the page's link anchors. A link anchor is the descriptive text of a link. This not one you'll commonly use, but play with has it's uses.

Site Searching: Available at the Google Advanced Search link but also available from the basic search box by preceeding your search term(s) with site:

Date Range Searching. This tool uses Julian dates, so it's easiest to use it from the Google Advanced Search page. Google will find pages indexed in the time period you specify.

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