Search engines are great. They are like an index, pointing you to the most helpful pages of the internet. They can help you find strategies to the toughest boss fights, refer you to troubleshooting steps when something isn’t working right, or help you answer a question that you don’t know how to answer. While powerful, search engines aren’t magical, and there are some things you can do to ensure you get the best results when using your search engine of choice.
FearedNightmare has put together some tips on how to find what you’re looking for when using your favorite search engine. Check these out and share tips of your own in the comments below!
Use keywords, not questions
When using a search engine, results you’re looking for will appear as a statement rather than a question. Instead of searching for “How do I reset my password for my Xbox account?” try searching “Xbox password reset”.
Narrow your search to a specific website when possible
For the Xbox password reset example, most of the troubleshooting pages will be found on Xbox.com. By adding “site:Xbox.com” in front of your search, it will limit the search results to variants of the Xbox.com website. This includes pages like news.xbox.com, support.xbox.com, account.xbox.com, etc. This saves a lot of time sifting through third party websites.
Example: site:Xbox.com password reset
Exclude websites from your search
If you don’t want the search results from news.xbox.com or account.xbox.com, you can exclude search results as well by using a minus in front of the keyword you want to exclude.
Example: site:Xbox.com password reset -reddit.com -news.xbox.com -account.xbox.com
Use quotes to emphasize a keyword
Another thing you can do is emphasize a keyword by putting it in quotes. Let’s say you’re looking for Xbox One-specific network troubleshooting. Using Site:Xbox.com Xbox One network troubleshooting will search for each of the keywords you included. Unfortunately, it will also search for a combination of the keywords. This will likely result in getting troubleshooting results for Xbox 360 and perhaps Xbox app as well.
To target your search, considering doing the following:
Example: site:Xbox.com “Xbox One” network troubleshooting -Xbox 360 -App
This will work on most search engines and using these tricks most of the time what you’re looking for will be at the top.
Search engine tips at a glance
Site: searches for all results on the specific website
“quotes”: emphasizes a search to include that keyword
“minus/-” excludes a keyword from the search result
Share your search engine tips below!
Do you have additional tricks to find what you’re looking for with a search engine? Share them in the comments below!