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Have you ever gotten frustrated trying to use a website’s search feature? If so, then I have a great trick for you.

Admittedly, this is a departure from my usual postings.

googleI don’t think I mentioned it on my ‘About’ page, but I work in the tech field. I work with computers designing websites and online productivity systems for businesses. And one thing I do a lot of is look for code snippets, graphics and how-to’s. And rather than go to the websites and use their search features, which usually ends in frustration, I just go to Google.

From Google, I can search a particular website, and only that website (as opposed to all the web). If you spend any time doing web searches, you’ll find this method much faster and with results that match what you’re looking for.

On Google’s search page, in the search box, the syntax you’ll be using is:

site:DomainToSearch.com [words you want to search for]

The “site:” entry is required. Immediately after the colon, enter the domain you wish to search, but don’t include the “http://” characters. The “www” is optional, especially if the site you want to search does not use them.

After the domain identifier (the .com in this case), make sure you put in a space. Press the space bar and then enter the keywords you want to search for.

So, instead of going to WordPress to search, say, my blog for a particular item, you go to Google and search from there.

site:theiamblog.wordpress.com happiness

The results in Google will display two pages that have the word “happiness” in the text: “Dream, Then Be” and my “Welcome” pages.

I can put any number of words after the domain to search, so:

site:theiamblog.wordpress.com happiness think

Google will find pages that have both those words in the text. It’s not an “either/or” search, it’s an “and” search: both of those words have to exist on a page for Google to find them (“happiness” and “think” have to exist).

“Happiness” and “think” can be in any order on that page. “Think” may come first, or “happiness” may come first. It doesn’t matter to Google, but you are asking that both words exist on a page: “I want to search for ‘happiness’ and ‘think.’”

Now, if you want to search for two words that show up next to each other (great when you’re searching for a person’s name), use quotation marks.

For example, say you’re looking for an old friend, Jess Demain. All you know is that he works for Intel Corp. Instead of going to Intel’s website and using their search feature, which is probably not all that great, use Google:

site:www.intel.com “jeff demain”

Within seconds, you’ll have your results, about 558+ of them.

However, when you use quotation marks, use caution. You’re telling Google that whatever is between your quotation marks must appear in that order on the site you’re searching.

So, flipping the above, Google won’t find any matches for…

site:www.intel.com “demain jeff”

Google doesn’t find anything, so it automatically removes the quotation marks and, as a result, will display some matches for you.

The bottom line: using Google instead of a particular website’s search feature is less frustrating and much faster.

You can search any domain/website out there using Google. You’re not limited at all. And if you’ve ever tried using Facebook’s search feature to find people, you’ll know the frustration I’m talking about.

Happy searching!