Search masterclass


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.

How to solve impossible problems: Daniel Russell’s awesome Google search techniques (via Making Light)