To make advanced searching easy, Google provides Google Advanced Search. You’ll find the link right next to the Google search box. Yep, it’s been there from the day Google started, and it provides you with the ability to search within a site or date range, search to exclude results as well as to include what you’re looking for. There’s a lot there, but don’t let the look of this tool intimdate you. Just use the fields you need. Include. “Occurances” allows for the ability to confine the search to URL’s or titles or links. “File Format” allows you to find different file types like PDF, Word (DOC), Excel (XLS) and many more. I’ve found the “Date: Past 3 months, Past 6 months, Past year” function to be very useful when I need to locate the one needle that is important to me.
In the online world that is the great haystack, finding that one important needle can be unbelievably frustrating. You know that what you’re looking for has to be out there and that search tools like Google have special ways of finding them, but who can remeber all that syntax, what with the tildes, pluses, minuses, and quotes?