I hate it when I go to a site looking for information but it doesn’t have a search engine. I have to dig through dozens of menus and links, and I still don’t always find what I need. Is there a better way?
Most search engines have a cool little feature that allows you to do a search and restrict it to just one website. Just go to your favorite search engine and type in the search terms, then follow it up with “site:www.sitename.com” (where “sitename” is the name of the site).
Since this is better demonstrated with an example, let’s pretend you wanted to read about Outlook Express Attachments. Since WorldStart is the obvious place to find out about anything that has to do with a computer, you head on over.
To your horror, you arrive to find that I’ve been messing with the search engine and it no longer works (a surprisingly frequent occurrence). Your heart starts to beat faster, your palms get all sweaty, and you wonder how you’re going to find the info you need. There are nearly 1000 tips here!
Instead of running your mouse around in a panic, you head over to your favorite search engine and type in:
outlook express attachments site:www.worldstart.com
The term “outlook express attachments” is what you’re looking for. By typing in “site:www.worldstart.com”, it tells the search engine to only show you results from our site.
You find the info you’re looking for and rest easy. Whew, that was a close one.
I’ve tested this with Google, MSN, Altavista, AskJeeves, AllTheWeb, and several others (although about half the search sites use google as their internal engine anymore). So far, I’ve not found any search engine this trick doesn’t work on.
So, next time you run across a site where the webmaster thought “we don’t need no stinkin’ search engine”, try this little trick to save some time.