Getting the most out of your search engine

theopenworld.com search engine screenshot Search engines are great (shameless plug coming next) and the soon to be improved, theopenworld.com search engine is truly mighty. But getting the most and easiest experience out of your search seems to be a little bit out of reach for some, but it is realy easy.

So here goes with an easy guide to get more

Start with the obvious keywords for your searches. If you’re looking for info on days out in London, use the search term days out in London

The more words you use that are related to your search the better, it will help refine your search results down massively.

No need to capitalise on your searches

Most search engines are not case sensitive. Whether or not you type your search words in upper or lower case, the search engine will be able to read, so you don’t have to be grammatically correct. For example, a search engine will see the search terms Winston Churchill, winston churchill, wINston CHurchIll will give you the same result.

No need for ‘where’, ‘how’, ‘and’, ‘I’ and ‘but’

Search engines, will tend to skip searching for keywords if they are ‘and’, ‘I’ and ‘but’. These are known as ‘common words’ (don’t get snobby!)

If the common words are essential

If common words is essential to getting the results you want, you can include it by putting a “+” sign in front of it. For example, putting how will I know I am pregnant will exclude the common words, put +how will +I know I am pregnant instead.

It’s all in the phrase searches

Sometimes you may be looking for an exact phrase, lyrics, selection of keywords, or someone’s name. Put quotation marks (“) around the keywords. For example putting  john ian smith will bring up any page which contains these words, if you put “john ian smith” it will only search for that specific combination of keywords.

Sometimes you may want to get negative

If you’re searching for bass, it can have two meanings, fish or music, and you will end up with mixed results. If you put a minus sign (-) in front of the keywords that you don’t want included, the search engine will drop these results from the results. For example, search for bass -fish will produce only search results relating to bass and music, fish will be deducted. But do note that you should put a space between you keywords, bass-music will be seen as one word.

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