Tips that make searching the Internet even more effective

Checking when the post office closes, which movie you remember that one actor from, or when the new season of your favorite show is coming out – we use the Internet for all that every day. These simple tips will save you additional time when searching the Internet.

Many people take the Internet for granted as an everyday helper. Those who retrieve a lot of information via search engines could often do so more effectively. With a few simple tricks you will be even faster when searching the Internet and save yourself unnecessary search ads on Google and Co.

Speed up search on the Internet with special commands

Search engines can not only be used with the normal search bar, but can also be fed with special commands: Sounds more complicated than it is. A few parameters are enough to elicit what you are looking for from the web. Instead of simply typing in a few terms, you can use the appropriate parameters to narrow down the search field significantly. “This can help anyone who doesn’t find what they’re looking for right away,” says Jo Bager from the trade magazine c’t. “It’s a great way to narrow down the search.

So at the latest, if the first attempt fails and you do not find what you are looking for on the first one or two pages of results: Simply put the search term in quotation marks. This allows you to combine several words into one search phrase. You are asking the search engine to search for exactly these terms in exactly this order. You get the same result if you click on “verbatim” in Google’s search filter.

Commands for narrowing, exclusion, linking

If you only want to get results from a specific website, you can specify that as well. For example, if you enter “Olaf Scholz site:tagesschau.de”, only entries that mention the German Chancellor by name on tagesschau.de will be displayed.

“If you want to categorically exclude certain hits from the search results, you mark them with a minus in the search,” says Rainer Schuldt of Computer Bild. For example, entering “Helene -Fischer” ensures that nothing about the pop star is displayed via the search on the Internet, but only other hits in which the name Helene occurs. “The minus exists with all large search engines,” says Bager.

If, on the other hand, you want all the desired search terms to be included, you can link them with an “AND,” which should be capitalized to be recognized as a so-called operator. With an “OR” you get results that contain either the one or the other word. But beware: “This doesn’t always work reliably,” Bager says.

Fishing out PDFs

The search addition “Filetype:pdf” reduces the results of the Internet search to pdf documents, for example, user manuals or vacation brochures. Web pages on which the term searched for could also appear are thus excluded. According to Jo Bager, this is also possible with all major search engines.

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And what do other websites have to offer, for example alternative offers to your favorite pages? According to Rainer Schuldt of Computer Bild, if “related:ard.de” is entered in the search field, the search engine will list alternative pages to the public broadcaster. This can be useful in order to draw from several sources when it comes to news.

Searching the Internet with a limited time period

According to Bager, another useful feature is the restriction in the search filter to a specific time period. “Google otherwise finds things that are stone cold and places them high up in the results,” he says. It is often sufficient to restrict the search to the past year.

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In addition, you can use so-called partial searches on Google, i.e., according to the filters below the search field, you can search only for news or images. Here it is even possible to upload a picture and search for similar photos.

Special search engines for special topics

According to Jo Bager, for some searches it makes sense to use more than just Google. If you’re looking for people, for example, Xing and LinkedIn as well as yasni come into question. For child-fair contents there is blind cow or ask Finn, Onmeda or gesundheitsinformation.de describe disease pictures.

Microsoft’s Bing search engine can track down RSS feeds using the parameters “feed” and “has feed”. Searching by language and location of content origin is also possible, though not always reliably, Bager reports. To do this, keywords are supplemented with two-character language and country codes, such as “language:fr” for French or “location:be” for Belgium.

DuckDuckGo offers searchers a so-called bang directory. According to Bager, there are almost 12,000 special search engines of all kinds that can be controlled by DuckDuckGo with short commands. The bang descriptions can also be searched in turn, so that in the end everyone should find what they are looking for.

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