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Tech Tips, Tricks & Trivia

by 'Anil' Radhakrishna
An architect's notes, experiments, discoveries and annotated bookmarks.

Search from over a hundred HOW TO articles, Tips and Tricks

Google Guide

The freely download-able Google Guide (pdf) had been lying in my ebook collection for a long time and I finally got to browse through it this weekend. Considering the guide was compiled in around 2005, it had some stale info but it is still useful and I would recommend Google Guide to newbies getting started with search engines.

I learnt some interesting facts & tips from it -
* You can prefix a "-" sign infront of a search operator to negate it's effect"
Google Buzz" -site:google.com

* You can find synonyms by preceding the term with a "~" tilde. This takes you beyond the automatic stemming that Google already performs

* You can specify that results contain numbers in a range by specifying two numbers, separated by two periods, with no spaces.
recumbent bicycle $250..$1000

* Since Google's servers are typically faster than many web servers, you can often access a page's cached version faster than the page itself. This is helpful especially if you browsing using a slow connection.

In the search results page, there are some small details like the page size of a relevant link & the "Search within results" link at the bottom. Google Guide explains their usefulness -
Large web pages are far less likely to be relevant to your query than smaller pages. For the sake of efficiency, Google searches only the first 101 kilobytes (approximately 17,000 words) of a web page and the first 120 kilobytes of a pdf file. Assuming 15 words per line and 50 lines per page, Google searches the first 22 pages of a web page and the first 26 pages of a pdf file. If a page is larger, Google will list the page as being 101 kilobytes or 120 kilobytes for a pdf file. This means that Google's results won't reference any part of a web page beyond its first 101 kilobytes or any part of a pdf file beyond the first 120 kilobytes.

Scroll to the search box at the bottom of your results page and click on the link "Search within results." This causes Google to run a new search using your newly specified terms (those in the search box) only on the pages it found from your initial query, rather than a search over the entire web.

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