Daniel Russell is a search guru in the employ of Google. He addressed a crowd of journalists with a lecture on the super-advanced search techniques, and posed this riddle: "What’s the phone number of the office where this picture was snapped?" (solution here).
John Tedesco from the San Antonio Express-News took excellent notes on Russell's speech, and has summarized it for the rest of us. I consider myself a very proficient searcher, but Russell's tips were often surprising and enlightening for me. Here's a great one:
Force Google to include search terms.
Sometimes Google tries to be helpful and it uses the word it thinks you’re searching for — not the word you’re actually searching for. And sometimes a website in the search results does not include all your search terms.
How do you fix this?
Typing intext:[keyword] might be Google’s least-known search operations, but it’s one of Russell’s favorites. It forces the search term to be in the body of the website. So if you type:
intext:”San Antonio” intext:Alamo
It forces Google to show results with the phrase “San Antonio” and the word Alamo. You won’t get results that are missing either search term.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.