Tag - Google

Advanced Operators: How to Google Search like a Pro
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Google likes standards compliance

Advanced Operators: How to Google Search like a Pro

Back in the early days of the internet, Google was simply a tool to bring back a list of pages with keywords which match your search criteria.

This is fundamentally what still happens, however the internet has grown a bit since then. Back in 2000, there were around 17 million websites on the internet. Now there are nearly a billion. Cataloging and indexing all of these billions of pages of content has become increasingly more difficult.

Considering all of those extra pages of content, it is becoming increasingly more important that you enter the best possible search criteria into Google to find the results which most closely match what you are looking for. Fortunately for us, Google provide a few handy advanced search operators which we can use.

Find pages containing quotes

Quotes are some of the most used tools in the Google Search arsenal. By wrapping words within your criteria in quotes, Google will only return results containing that quote. You can even mix quotes with individual words for maximum effect.

william shakespeare “to be or not to be is the question”

Exclude words from results

You can exclude any pages from your search results which contain a word by using the -exclude operator.

sea fish -mackerel

Search a specific site

Sometimes, you might find yourself wanting to search a website but their own search tool isn’t up to scratch. Never fear! You can use Google to search only that specific website instead.

site:www.reddit.com family guy

See a page which was recently removed/changed

If you ever find a web page has gone down, or perhaps it has been blocked or changed, you can often use Google’s cache to view the page (or rather, a cached copy of the page). Google’s search results have a little ‘Cached’ link next to each result. Alternatively, try the following seach:


These aren’t the only advanced search operators Google offers. There are quite a few. Check out the others on Google’s support pages.





What is Search Engine Optimisation?

You can’t own or be involved with a website without coming across search engine optimisation (SEO) at some point or other.
Every day I receive another email via a contact form on one of my websites offering SEO services from one of many firms in India. So what exactly is SEO?

In order to to help users find what they are looking for, search engines such as Google and Bing must decide what web pages are most relevant to what people are searching for. By applying a good SEO strategy when building and marketing your website, you can do your best to ensure that when people search for information, your web pages appear near the top of the search engine results pages.

SEO can be seperated into categories, on-site SEO and off-site SEO.

On Site SEO

On-site SEO should be a consideration when building your website. If your site is built using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, then this is pretty much just a case of installing an SEO plugin such as All In One SEO Pack.
When writing content for your website, you would typically perform some keyword research first. Keyword research is a pretty deep subject itself, well beyond the scope of this article. If you want to know more about keyword research, check out Moz’s excellent article here.
Once you’ve decided on a good keyword, this is used throughout the content of the article, as well as in the title, META tags etc.

Off Site SEO

Once you have written and published an article on your website, you will need to start building links to it. Search engines such as Google see external links pointing to your website as votes of confidence. The more links you have, and the more relevant those linking pages are to your page, the more chance you have of your pages ranking will in the search engine results pages.
If you have written good, compelling content, then in theory you shouldn’t need to build links to your website. However in practice, it makes sense to tip the scales in your favour and work hard to achieve some good quality backlinks.

Google likes standards compliance

standards complianceOne thing I love about the SEO world is that it’s not an exact science. Just about every man and his dog have their own idea about what Google likes and hates.

I think we’re all agreed on the fact that relevant, contextual links from related so-called ‘authority’ sites are good stuff. Generous use of your keywords through your title tag, header tags and page content are also top of the list in our SEO agendas.

Well, what then? What else can we do to be Google’s best friend? Some recent theories have been thrown about such as:

  • Get contact us, terms and about us pages
  • Add a quick blog to your site and other ‘bulking’ things
  • Put your keywords into image ALT tags

But I’ve never heard anyone state the importance of making your sites (X)HTML compliant. I am confident that the big ‘G’ sees this as a big deal, but Nobody seems to have noticed. Just look how clear Google makes this point in their webmaster guidelines:

Check for broken links and correct HTML

Easy to overlook, but even easier to adhere to. Simply let the W3C’s free online validator take a look at your page and tell you how to fix it. Job done!

And in case you’re wondering, of course I have 🙂

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