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Premium Member
11,247 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
How to effectively use search

If someone wants to sticky this or put it somewhere else more important, by all means do so.

I read in a topic earlier about how a user was having an issue searching for oil change, so I figured I'd make this thread to help inform the masses about some rules when using a search engine. I am not trying to come across as condescending. Knowledge is power, and the better you can search the more efficient you'll make yourself! The truth is, quite honestly, that most poeple don't know how to properly search. Using the search engine might help them and often does, but they're not getting the best results for what they want. These rules I'm going to mention can be applied to Google, Altavista, Yahoo, or just about any enigne. Anyway, on with the post!!

If you search oil change, it does come up with the error stating that:
vBulletin Message said:
The search term you specified (oil) is under the minimum word length (4) and therefore will not be found. Please make this term longer.

If this term contains a wildcard, please make this term more specific.
But.. I CAN search for oil change. You need to use proper syntax. Don't type the words oil and change, type in "oil change" using the quotes. It searches for that particular string as opposed for searching for just the words "oil" and "change." The first search, if allowed, could bring up a topic that has nothing to do with oil changes but has those words randomly inserted in it.

So let's put this to use! I want 22 inch wheels on my Genesis Coupe :)rofl:).
22 won't take if I type that into the search engine alone, but I need answers and if I start a new thread everyone will laugh at me and I'll get flamed and doomed to be a noob forever. I want my answers, but I'm not quite prepared to be laughed at by having 22s, so I'm open to 17s, 18s, or 19s. What do I do?
Search: wheels "22 inch" "17 inch" "18 inch" "19 inch"
And your results are
vBulletin Message said:
1. Sorry - no matches. Please try some different terms.
NOTHING! (at the time of this writing!)

This time, our search was too specific, and there is no thread that mentions 22 inch wheels and also mentions 17 inch, 18 inch, and 19 inch wheels.

At this point, you can be more vague, and if that doesn't work make a new thread. If someone gives you issues, tell them you did a thorough search, and if they can't get over themselves then they must think the internet is srs bizness.

Couple other things I'd like to mention here that may or may not work on vBulletin but work in other search engines:
+ forces a word to be found in the search. If I Google livestock +cows, every search will be related to livestock, and have the word "cows" in it.
- filters a word from a search. If I google livestock -cows, every search will be related to livestock, and will NOT mention the word "cows" in it.

This is an intensive overview of Google's seach operands. Google Search syntax dissected - Night Dreaming (by Sudar)
It's a great site for anyone that wants to get a bit more efficient in their searching when out on the internet.

That's all. :)

434 Posts
This deserves a sticky A++
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