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Making the Most Out of Google as a Research Tool

Everyone knows how to use the basic features offered by Google, but few make use of its advanced ... ... what you can do with Google can shave hours off of your research time, espe

Everyone knows how to use the basic features offered by Google, but few make use of its advanced capabilities. Understanding what you can do with Google can shave hours off of your research time, especially when it comes to web site promotion.

In this article I will show you how to use some of Google’s advanced features to make your SEO research more precise and effective.

Preferences
First thing’s first. Google has a number of preferences that you can set, which it remembers via a cookie. With these settings, you can adjust the interface and search languages, as well as search filters, number of results displayed per page, and whether or not the results are displayed in a new window.
•The Interface language that you select determines how Google presents its tips and messages to you.
•The Search language option allows you to search for pages written in a particular language. So if you prefer to focus on a particular language, you can narrow down your result very effectively this way.
•SafeSearch Filtering can block web pages that contain explicit content, based on text and/or images. This option can be useful if you are researching possible link partners and want to filter out certain types of “affiliate link farms.”
•The “Number of Results” option determines how many results are displayed per page. This is of course a matter of preference, but you can save some time loading 20 – 30 results per page, instead of the standard (and infamous) 10.

Advanced Searches
Some of the options available on the advanced search options page are the same as the preferences page. However, some of the options offered here provide some useful functionality.
•Occurrences: With this option you can focus your search on various parts of a web page, instead of the search drawing from all of its content. You can select a search based on the title of a page, its text, its url, or its links. This last option can be a great way to determine who has links to the subject matter that you are researching.
•Domain: This option, as you might guess, allows you to restrict a search to a single domain or site.
•Page-Specific Searches: This section includes two different search options. The “Similar” option lets you find pages similar in content to the one that you enter. This can be a great way to find out both who your competition is and how Google thinks of your site in terms of its content. The Links search option tells you who has linked to the site that you enter. This is a powerful feature for determining who is a good link partner candidate.

Syntax
Syntax represents the ultimate in Google search functionality. While there are far too many terms to cover in one article, I will go over a couple to give you a taste of what you have been missing.
•Cache: Typing in a url with the form “cache:www.domainname.com” will show you the page for that url as it was the last time Google crawled it (i.e., the last time Google visited the site and cached or recorded it). For webmasters, this is a handy way to keep track of how often Google is really visiting your site. Go to Google and try it with your site now, you might be surprised at how long it has been.
•Info: Typing in a url with the form “info:www.domain.com” will return essentially all of the information Google has on that site. This includes all of the links to that site, the last cached recorded by GoogleFree Web Content, and more.

The search options that I have described barely scratch the surface of what Google can do. It is well worth your time and effort to spend some “quality time” with Google and check out everything that it can do for you.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


This article has been authored by Chuck Hudgins, founder of www.ebusinessbasics.com.
eBusinessBasics maintains a collection of the best Internet Marketing and eBusiness development articles from a variety of sources, all free to access.



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