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Narrow down your search
Sometimes the web is too big and you'll want to narrow down your search to a specific site or subset of sites. For example, if you wanted to search zdnet.com for everything to do with the iPad, you'd use ipad site:zdnet.com. Don't forget the .com or you won't get any results. This is extremely helpful for searching your own site.
Another way to use this is as a way to narrow down searches to a certain top-level domain (such as .com, .org, .edu). For example astronomy site:edu would limit astronomy searches to .edu websites.
This way is more complicated but easier in the long run and it helps you avoid using extensions. We'll use ZDNet as an example:
Click Settings. Under Search, click Manage Search Engines.
In the “other search engines” list at bottom fill in the three empty boxes as follows:
You can now search ZDNet directly by typing ZDNet followed by a space and your search terms.
PS, if you want to make it even easier, use the single character Z as the name in the first box. Then you can just press Z, space, search term, go.
Not just for web pages
The web is made up of a lot more than just web pages and is home to all sorts of filetypes, from PDFs to Word documents.
For example, want PDF documents related to astronomy, use astronomy filetype:pdf. Want Word documents instead of PDFs? Use astronomy filetype:doc.
Make it timely
Sometimes you want to search for timely information. To do this you carry out your search as normal and then click on Search tools and change Anytime to the desired range.
If you want to stop Google trying to interpret what you type into the search box and just do a plain vanilla search, click on All results and choose Verbatim instead. This will, according to the search documentation, prevent Google from:
- making automatic spelling corrections
- personalizing your search by using information such as sites you’ve visited before
- including synonyms of your search terms
- finding results that match similar terms to those in your query
- searching for words with the same stem
- making some of your terms optional