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Tune your search engine for performance!


Learn some advanced search engine commands to boost search effectiveness.


This question was answered on September 23, 2004. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Surely anyone who uses the Internet knows the basic function of a search engine They are powerful tools, as they help us find the information we seek Here you will learn some interesting tricks that will allow you to make more accurate searches using some simple commands built right in to most search engines.

Perhaps youre looking for links to information on sports cars, but keep getting information on football and baseball instead Most search engines consider the first word in a search as more relevant.

Try this:

1 <i>sports cars</i>

Most search engines will understand this to mean you only want results having both the words sports and car in them With some search engines this can be accomplished using and instead.

2 If youre still getting links to other sports, you can try excluding certain words, such as:

<i>sports car baseball</i>

This tells the search engine to omit any results containing the word baseball

3 Of course if this isnt working out for you, any decent search engine will have an advanced search option that will basically do the same thing, in a more graphical environment

4 You might also try detailing your search with, say <i>exotic sports cars</i> or <i>cars sports</i> (putting the emphasis on the fact that youre looking for cars).

5 Finally, try this:

<i>sports cars</i>

By using quotes you tell the search engine you only want results containing those two words, in that particular order

If that doesnt work try another search engine; such as Google (, which is by far the most popular, and rightfully so.

In conclusion its worth noting that not all of these tips will work with every search engine, so if youre in doubt, look for a link to search tips for your particular search engine.

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Posted by Chad of Data Doctors on September 23, 2004