Elementary as it may seem, with so many options and search engines available, do you really think it is necessary to learn how to search the internet?. Finding information quickly and efficiently is the key to a rewarding online experience. So why deal with the clutter, when you can get right to the results you are searching for, in the first place.
Using a few of the snazzy techniques outlined below, you can graduate from the casual information gatherer to full blown expert deal hunter, or proficient web searcher? Since the hands down most popular search engine in existence is Google, we will stick with “search commands” or “link operators” that can be used in conjunction with the standard Google search box.
How to Search the Internet – The Basics
For most, just visiting Google and typing in a query is more than enough to provide an ample number of options. However, there are more specific ways to personalize your search.
Were you aware for example if you wanted to strip away the standard interface you would use this command http://www.google.com/ie? This will provide you with search queries using the names in the title only, without the numbers, or descriptions. Another great thing about this is, you can also specify how many results you want to see by adding another command at the end of the URL string &num=100 for example to see 100 results, &num=50 for 50 results per page and so on.
We use this method for example if we are skimming the rankings looking for a relative search position for a client, “after we have already visited the site” so that the result is already highlighted, we can easily look at the top 300 results in 3 clicks vs. 30 pages of clutter. The command again is http://www.google.com/ie?&num=100 for producing 100 search results at a time, if you want to change the number do so by adjusting the digits to the desired number of results per page.
How to Search the Internet – Conducting an allinanchor Search
Anchor text is the text that is in side the text links you see on web pages. This is anchor text and the words inside of it provide relevance to what the pages links to, as well as gives the page that the anchor text is on a boost in search engines.
Pages with the most inbound links from other websites who use the keyword in the anchor text (in the link) and direct it at a page directly has a correlation to how that page is ranked in Google.
Usually, the more pages, from high page rank or authority websites that have amassed links in this fashion rise to the top of search engines as relevant search results for that keyword. For example, if I wanted to find out who has been doing the most link building (using anchor text) for the term SEO I would use the following “link operator” or “search command” in the Google search query box.
In this instance we used the term “SEO”, you can use whatever term or keyword you like.
This is a great way to take a peek at the competition for a keyword. It tells you right away who the top 10 players are for that term. If you wanted to see who has the most off page links for another term just use the allinanchor: command followed by your keyword or phrase.
allinanchor:use keyword or phrase here
How to Search the Internet – Google Search Tips
Need to find out:
1) how many pages are indexed in Google? try this command
2) when a website site or web page was last indexed / spidered by bots? try this command
or cache:www.domainname.com/pagename.html (or appropriate extension).
3) who links to your site? try this command
link:www.domainname.com (this one work better in www.yahoo.com) since they actually show you who links to you without deliberately showing you obstructed results.
4) what about finding out which page in your site has the most relevance to a specific keyword? try this command in the Google search box.
site:www.domainname.com keyword or key phrase
Look for the term highlighted in bold and the chronology of the pages show you which page has the highest significance for that term. This is excellent for search engine optimization, since it immediately lets you know which page to naturally assign links to if you are augmenting the site through off page link building services.
How to Search the Internet – Using “Exact Match Results”
You can also use the term in quotes in Google such as “SEO” to see who is the king or queen of the hill for the exact match of the keyword. Chances are you will see the same results, but the key difference is, using the exact match version allows you to see how many pages in specific are competing for the term. In the blue bar in Google that separates the search box from the search results you will see:
Results 1 – 10 of about 174,000,000 for “seo”. (0.17 seconds)
a) How many pages are competing ONLY 174 MILLION,
b) The Term “SEO” and
c) How long the search took to execute the command.
You can also use exact match “quotes” in searches to
1) Find references of people reproducing, publishing or scraping (stealing) your content.
Take a sentence from your site or the title of your blog or article and wrap it in quotes ” ” in the Google search box, hit return and see how many websites have the exact match.
If it’s an article, you can see how many pages are referencing it. If it’s content on your site, and your content has been knocked off (copied without consent), you will see the offender.
If your content has been reproduced, it should have a reference to the original page (if it’s an article) otherwise you can pursue recourse through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or use a service such as copyscape to protect your data.
2) Researching a keyword for optimization - can be done the same way, just place it in quotes and look for the number of pages returned for the exact match results. If the results are under 50,000 results, then start building links using SEO and you should have it in no time, or you can hire the professionals on your behalf.
Depending on your sites ranking, search results that display under 50,000 results in searches are pretty much available for the taking. The more competitive terms range from 50K and up and based on the ranking factors such as domain age, who links to you and how they link to your website or blog, you can track your rise in the SERPs (search engine result pages) by seeking out your site using this method.
For example, say you were a Chicago SEO Company (like ourself) and you wanted to see who ranked #1 for the local or national term for your business, you could use a command in Google like this by typing the following in the search box and hitting return.
“Chicago SEO Company”, the listing you see at the top, 9 times out of 10 is going to be the #1 position without the quotes and is what people will see conducting standard searches.
If you see your website on page 3 or 4, this means that you need to build links to your site using the term Chicago SEO Company in the anchor text, to get your page on the first page. Do this for enough related terms and you can dominate the search engines using strategic use of link building tactics.
This technique, the use of “exact match results” are just one method of many to determine what is happening behind the scenes in search engines, but by no means is the be all end all immutable rule of thumb. Since algorithms change and relevance and formulations which determine importance are constantly in a state of flux. Despite that, this use of exact match or allinanchor does provide an adequate summation of the landscape for a particular term.
I hope this brief tutorial has been useful and can provide you with practical benefit in the future, we will be adding other snippets of information in the How To Reference Material Section of our blog in the near future.
Stay tuned and happy surfing…