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Text search tips to find what you are looking for

Learning a few search basics will powerfully assist finding the content you are looking for. A search request is basically instruction to the search engine on what to look for. This guide will gives some simple tips to make your text searches more effective and find those results you want.

Basic search tips

All search inquiries begin in the search bar. What you put in the bar to search for -- the criteria -- will determine what you get back. The more general your search criteria is, usually the wider your results will be. For example, if you search on the word dog you will get a lot more results than if you search for Rottweiler. This could be advantageous or not, depending on how specific your search need Is.

A power search technique is to put quotes around your search terms. This tells the search engine to look for that exact set of words. For example, if you search for “love and light” with quotes you will only get results where those three words are together in that order. Searching without quotes will give you a much greater number of search results.

If you are searching on a concept it helps to use synonyms. Looking for content related to "wealth" may also be found under other words like: abundance, riches, money, affluence, prosperity, plenty, cash, treasure, fortune, assets and others. Use a synonym or thesaurus internet search to find alternate words to assist you, for example: https://www.thesaurus.com/

Sometimes search can be counter intuitive. Also consider using the opposite of what you are looking for, the antonym -- to get a search result. For previous example on "wealth", you could search on antonyms of lack, poverty, debt, bankruptcy, or scarcity.

Search strategies

If you don't get the search results you want right away, keep at it from different angles. Gradually add search terms and get creative. Look at the results you are getting and use new synonyms or antonyms of those terms to cast a wider net. Make sure you aren't being too specific (or too general).

Avoid Search Pitfalls

  • Use specific keywords: be as specific as you can in your wording.
  • Simplify your search terms: strip out unnecessary stop words and avoid suffixes.
  • Make sure you spell your search words correctly.
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