Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Quick tips to search the web like an expert - How to use Google

Tip 18:

Conduct an "Either/Or" Search

Google automatically assumes the word "and" between all the words in a query. That is, if you enter two words, it assumes you're looking for pages that include both those words—word one and word two. It doesn't return pages that include only one or the other of the words.

The upshot is that you don't have to enter the word "and" in your query. If you're searching for Bob and Ted, all you have to enter is bob ted. Google assumes the "and," and automatically includes it in its internal index search.

This is different from assuming the word "or" between the words in your query. As an example, compare the query bob ted (which is really bob AND ted, remember)with bob OR ted . In the first query, the results include pages that mention both Bob and Ted. In the second query, the results include pages that mention Bob alone, as well as pages that mention Ted alone, as well as pages that mentioned both Bob and Ted. It's a subtle difference, but an important one.

So if you want to conduct an "either/or" search - to search for pages that include one word or another word, but not necessarily both - you have to insert the OR operator between the two keywords. And when you use the OR operator, make sure to insert it in all uppercase, or Google will ignore it as a stop word.

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