Advanced Search Engine Techniques

search engine techniques

Search engines are used daily by individuals and businesses for everything from finding information, to locating pictures, to gaining insight on how well a website is ranked. Though most people know the basics of searching by keywords, there are many advanced-level techniques that can help you become a master searcher. These tips and tricks can save you a lot of time and provide you with more relevant results.

A basic search engine begins with a large repository of information called an index. When a query is entered, the search engine searches through this index to find what information matches the query. Then it brings that information back to the inquirer as a list of results. The processing load in a typical search is minimal, but each result in the list requires a lookup, reconstruction and markup of the snippets that show context from the matched words. The more keywords in a search, the more complex and costly the process becomes.

An example of a complex search is looking for information about an illness or a specific event. The first step is to decide on the main keywords that will be used for this search. A good way to do this is to consider the most common words that people use when talking about that topic. Then add other words to broaden or narrow the search if needed. For example, if you’re interested in cancer, try searching for smoking AND tumours OR neoplasms.

Another way to get more relevant results is to use the boolean operators AND, OR and NOT in your queries. Using AND is useful when you want all of your search words to appear in the results; OR allows you to search for information that features any of the words you’re searching for; and NOT allows you to exclude search terms. If you use the NOT operator, it is necessary to use brackets around your search words, as without them, your search will be interpreted as meaning that you don’t want any of the words to appear in your results.

You can also search for phrases with the truncation symbol, usually an asterisk (*). This allows you to search for different word endings or variations of a phrase. For example, if you’re searching for a book review, you can search using books and reviews or book reviews.

Finally, you can search for certain types of content with qualifiers such as inurl:, intext: and intitle:. For example, searching for a British prime minister between 1920 and 1950 will give you results that only include pages where the prime minister is mentioned in text or in the page title.

Some less-reputable SEO firms will try to trick search engines into ranking their sites higher by employing gimmicks that are only successful for short periods of time before the search engine gets wise to them and lowers the site‘s rank. Using these gimmicks can be dangerous for your site and can be a warning that it is not being treated as a genuine, legitimate resource.

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