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Mandolin Cafe Blog

The Wisdom of Google

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Bear with a minute. Your ability to find information on the internet should be better. Sounds like a huckster's opening line in a spam email, doesn't it?

First, a story that I know everyone can relate to:

A few days ago I went onto a large social media and review site I post on, in the top 150 of ALL internet sites (not Facebook, whose search function is one of the worst on the internet). I was hunting for a resource I'd reviewed months back. In spite of the fact I was the first and only person to review this resource and have some experience with these things I should be able to find it using their tools, right? After five minutes of not finding what I'm looking for I give up, craft a custom Google search in 10 seconds and there it is.

For grins, lets show you how Google can help you search a site you might be interested in like, oh, the Mandolin Cafe!

Let's say you're looking for info about the Bill Monroe movie which is apparently never to be, and you know it's on the Cafe, but any search with Bill Monroe returns way too much information. Solution: use Google's site specific search typing this string:

site:mandolincafe.com Bill Monroe Movie

The instructions here are easy enough. We're saying, "hey Google, on the site mandolincafe.com, search for the words Bill Monroe Movie." Now you're probably saying, "well, you do this because the Cafe has a crap search function." No, I use this to return superior results on amazon.com, NY Times, eBay, CNN, the three big newspaper sites in my area, and just about any other site I know has good information, particularly library and government databases that are packed with mandolin info. Google's ability to search every site outperforms those site's ability to search their own information. Every time.

Want to see how this all works? Here it is demonstrated on the great web site "Here, Let Me Google That For You." But don't use it, use Google's own site.

That's all for now, but just learning this one easy function will vastly improve your ability to find what you're looking for when you know you're on the right site. Not just the Cafe, try it on other sites.

And now a final test. Mike Edgerton will be along shortly, assuming he reads this, with an alternative way to craft this search. It works too but I just wanted to know if he ever reads my posts.

Yes, there are more ways to customize their searches but lets keep it simple. If everyone would just do this, how much better their web experience would be.

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Comments

  1. Marty Jacobson's Avatar
    Mike Edgerton doesn't have to watch out for your posts, he just waits for his Google Alert to go off.. :-)
  2. Bertram Henze's Avatar
    The complete list of operators to be used with a colon is here.
    (and "operator" does not mean your search is performed by a bald guy with headphones on)
  3. MikeEdgerton's Avatar
    Sure Scott, give away my secrets. People won't think I have super powers anymore
  4. farmerjones's Avatar
    wow! Like this site is sao excellent!