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Seek and You Shall Find – Four easy tricks to improve your search results

Ever try to find a needle in a haystack? Finding the results you need in a Google search can be a little like that when you consider that Google has upwards of 48 billion web pages indexed. That’s a lot of pages to search and sort and you might be wasting a lot of time digging through a giant haystack of useless search results.

Be Descriptive

As a general rule, the more descriptive you are in your search terms, the better. If you start out too broad, narrow the results by adding descriptive words. For instance, if you do a search on 1968 cars for sale, you’ll find over 21 million results. However, search for 1968 Ford cars for sale and you’ve greatly narrowed your results. To help you more effectively enter search terms, imagine you are describing what you’re looking for to a friend. Would you tell a friend that you are looking to buy a car built in 1968 or would you say want to buy a 1968 red Ford Mustang convertible? It seems like such a simple thing, but sometimes it’s easy to forget the obvious.

The Importance of Pluses and Minuses

Suppose you’ve got a business trip to Chicago coming up in a few weeks. The last time you were there, you had dinner at the most amazing rib joint, but you cannot remember its name or exactly where it is located. A quick Google search of rib restaurants in Chicago yields over one million results including many lists of where to find the “best barbeque” in the Windy City, but not exactly the answer you seek. You think a little harder and remember that the place was more like a tavern than a restaurant. Search again, but this time add the word “tavern” with the plus (+) sign in front of it (+tavern) and suddenly your search is narrowed to just 41 results, with the top listing being Twin Anchors Restaurant, the home of the heavenly ribs you remember. The plus sign in front of the word tavern helps narrow the results dramatically, offering a quicker path to your search destination.

The minus sign can also be a big help with your search. Let’s say you want to make some cookies to take to an office party. Baking is not your favorite thing to do, so you need a recipe that’s easy, but does not include nuts because one of your coworkers is allergic. Type in the words easy cookie recipe, but add the word nuts with a minus sign in front of it (-nuts) and you’ll have your pick of nut-free recipes to try.

You Can Quote Me on That

Another very useful search trick is to add quotation marks around specific words critical to your search criteria. Let’s take the example of the cookie search again. You’ve searched and found quite a few easy recipes that do not have nuts in them, but it’s the middle of summer and you don’t want to heat up your house by turning on the oven. No bake cookies seem like a good idea. Adding the words “no bake” in quotes to your search will yield you a list of easy no bake cookie recipes without nuts. Refine those results even further by adding (+) or subtracting (-) anything you want.

Don’t waste your time trying to find a needle in a haystack. Save yourself lots of frustration by refining your search terms to get targeted results. When in doubt, DASQ (describe, add, subtract, quote) it out.
To learn more about improving your search results and for all your Apple needs, contact Cranston IT directly at 888-813-5558 or support@cranstonit.com. Read More...

Common Internet Scams

The internet is a powerful tool that has transformed and enriched our lives. With new ways to communicate, it’s good to be aware of potential danger that could cost you. Internet scams are nothing new, but with ever changing technology and smarter scammers, it’s becoming more difficult to tell when someone might be trying to pull a fast one. Below are some of the most common internet scams and ways to detect and avoid future threats.

Phishing is an email scam that uses well known companies to trick you into giving sensitive information. Here’s how it works: you get an email for a company, such as your bank, saying they need you to immediately sign into your account and provide a link for you to do so. Once you click on the link, you are taken to a website that looks like that of the trusted site. If you provide your login credentials, they are saved and used to access your account. If you receive an email requesting sensitive information, it is probably a phishing scam. Read More...