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.
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.
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.
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!)
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
wa-la...it 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.
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.
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 it...it has it's uses.
Searching: Available at
the Google Advanced Search link but also available from the basic
search box by preceeding your search term(s) with site:
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.