Searching Dangerous Intersection (or anything else) with Google’s Advanced Search

December 17, 2007 | By | 3 Replies More

Dangerous intersection is now more than 1 1/2 years old.  We currently have a couple dozen active authors who have contributed 1,500 posts on 60 categories.  These posts have drawn almost 7,000 comments.  Many of these posts (I’m guessing perhaps one-third of them) make reference to news of the day, and will age quickly.  There are many other posts that may be of some value months or even years after they were written, however.  Our authors work hard to embed useful quality links in their posts in an effort to inject lasting value into their posts.

Quite often, I run into a topic that has been addressed in some detail by a previous post.  Tracking down those older posts can sometimes be a challenge. The Dangerous Intersection website, which is built upon WordPress, includes a search function that often works fairly well in digging up previous posts and comments.  On other occasions, however, the algorithm of that simple search function pulls up too few or too many search results to be useful.

On those occasions, I have turned to the exquisite “Advanced Search” function of Google.  Google’s Advanced Search allows you to focus on the content of a particular website.  You can do this by inserting the URL of that website into the “Domain” field. For instance, if you wanted to search only content found on Dangerous Intersection, merely insert http://dangerousintersection.org/ into the Domain box.

At that point, you can continue to fine-tune your search in many additional ways.  See, for example, the top four fields on the advanced search screen.  You can request Google to return only those results that contain each of the words you enter, or an exact phrase, or all those results containing at least one of a string of words.  You can also ask Google to exclude content containing a word or words that you designate.

You can fine-tune your search request in other ways too.  For instance, you can request content within certain date ranges or limit your search to content found in certain parts of a webpage (e.g., only in the title).  For more assistance in using Google’s advanced search, see the Google Help Screen for it’s Advanced Search.

I offer this information regarding Google advanced search for those of you who might want to search for information on this site (or on any website) where the simple search feature offered on the website itself doesn’t quite get the job done.

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Category: Technology, Web Site

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Dan Klarmann says:

    I've been using the term "site:dangerousintersection.org" at the beginning of my Google DI searches since I gave up on the internal WordPress search function. This term simply limits the search to our site without having to go the extra click to the advanced search (with its many other useful controls).

    Why don't we put a Google Site Search field in place of the current WordPress search? Google is happy to provide the code snippet to do this.

  2. I rarely use the Google Advanced Search function. For most searches I use Google plus some commands that are faster to type than filling out the search fields.

    If you want to search a specific website or domain, you use site:URL or site:domain as Dan has already mentioned.

    If you want to look for a certain combination of words, for example, evolutionary psychology, you type "evolutionary psychology" which tells Google to look for this exact term. Typing evolutionary +psychology will yield pages that contain evolutionary and psychology in any places, not necessarily together. Typing evolutionary psychology will make Google look for any pages that contain either evolutionary or psychology.

    With +psychology you can tell Google that the pages have to contain psychology, with -psychology you exclude pages with "psychology" from your search.

    And of course you can combine + and – as you like. I also think you can exclude sites. For example, if you type -site:com, it will exclude all sites from the search that use the domain com.

    Another thing you can do to make the search a bit more convenient is to use the address bar in your browser where you usually type in the URL. If you use Firefox you can type google "evolutionary psychology" site:dangerousintersection.com in the adress bar and you will get the same results as if you had gone to the Google website first and typed in "evolutionary psychology" site:dangerousintersection.com. I once made a post and explained that a bit further. I think the default keyword was "google", you can change it to anything you want. I use "g" (I think that's the default keyword for Conquerer in Linux).

    I hope this makes sense, I'm getting confused with all the HTML tags I had to write here. 😀

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Here are some other esoteric (and practical) ways to use Google: http://lifehacker.com/339474/top-10-obscure-googl

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