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More effective google search

by Dog and Pony (Priest)
on Jun 08, 2002 at 00:23 UTC ( #172708=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

This node contains a description of a more effctive way to search the google-friendly archive, and a suggestion sprung out of the very same technique.

As we all know, Super Search is currently unreliable at best, and a sitekiller at worst. So when "normal" searching fails, one tends to do as it says on Super Search and try Googles advanced search against blakem's This is still not necessarily an easy task, but knowing a bit on how to use google, might improve your results.

Actually, I only have one specific feature in mind, the one that is called "match exact phrase". In the advanced search, there is even a special field for it, but normally, you specify such a phrase by simply putting double quotes around the phrase, like so:

arbitrary words "exact phrase"
Which will match 'arbitrary', 'words', and 'exact phrase' on any place in the documents searched, but not 'exact' by itself, nor 'phrase exact'.

If you know the exact phrase you are looking for, or, in this case which I will demonstrate, if you know an exact phrase that appears in the specific pages you want to search, this can narrow your hits considerably.

A silly example, that is not very good, but I hope will serve to demonstrate my point: Lets say I want to see some JAPH's, so I put the query 'just another perl hacker' in the search box on the top of the page. It returns a heap of results, none of which I know if they are even obfus (most aren't, it seems). Well, that partly depends on the fact that this was a stupid query. :) But bear with me.

So I try the same query on google, like so: [google://just another perl hacker] (via the advanced search, or not, either way is the same). That gives me 1840 results currently, which, if unlucky may be a long way from what I want.

But I do know something more: On each page on the obfu section, you can find the words "Back to Obfuscated Code". (Not really true, but I'll get there in a moment). So I try to add that to my query: [google:// just another perl hacker "Back to Obfuscated Code"] just another perl hacker]. This is actually more or less too effective I'd say, since it only returned one single result... it turns out that on the older pages, the link was called "Go see more Obfuscated Code", which is not as optimal when we want to do this kind of search.

But still, Using just "Obfuscated Code", which covers both cases, gives a very good result: [google:// just another perl hacker "Obfuscated Code"]. Top three results I got was Things are not what they seem like., Writing highly obfuscated code in Perl and japhy's Obfuscation Review, and 85 results all in all, which is not half-bad if you wanted to see some JAPH's. :)

Others, like Meditations and Seekers of Perl Wisdom, seems to have had the same link back all the time, so there we can use it more to out benifit (and to separate them from the links at the top off the page...).

Furtermore, it turns out it is possible to, just as the link on Super Search fills in "" for you in the appropriate field, you can also fill this in via a similar link.

So, finally over to the suggestion: Super Search's ability to search on specific sections are really useful, and since these links are easily crafted, how about adding shortcuts for these too, on the Super Search page? I had something like this in mind, although forming two columns with a table might be easier on the vertical scroll:

There are certainly some serious issues with this new search technique (including generating "Server Error"s -- no need to report those). You might be happier using Google's advanced search against

You can also search specific areas on via these links:

I am not 100% sure I have gotten all these links perfectly right, so raise your voice if there is anything I've missed, or something seems to be wrong when you search this way.

For those that are too lazy to view the source, this is how one of the links look like in HTML:

<a href=" to Snippets Section%22">Snippets Section</a +>

Well, that was one suggestion, or at least one tip on how to make things easier to find. I hope it will help some people out. :)

You have moved into a dark place.
It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

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Re: More effective google search
by Aristotle (Chancellor) on Jun 08, 2002 at 15:02 UTC
    ++ for an excellent catch. I consider myself a very adept Googler most of the time - there hasn't been much that's resisted my query refining skills -, but this is idea didn't occur to me.

    Makeshifts last the longest.

:> More effective google search
by ignatz (Vicar) on Jun 11, 2002 at 15:56 UTC
    Check out my homenode. If I was king of the universe (Hmmm... Ignatz, Mouse King of Coconino!) we'd kill super search and put something like this up at the bottom of every page. All the time trying to fix it and telling people how to search the site would be better spent raising pints and picking lint out of our navels.

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