Saturday, June 26, 2004

Google Hacks

Sun blogger Rich Burridge discusses a book published by O'Reilly called Google Hacks, which contains, as one might guess, lots of cool tips one can use to search Google more effectively, many of which are poorly documented, if at all.

Here's a page on which a few of the hacks can be found, including my own personal favorite - a means for getting around Google's frustrating 10-term search limit.

Help comes in the form of Google's full-word wildcard (Hack #13). It turns out that Google doesn't count wildcards toward the limit.

So when you have more than 10 words, substitute a wildcard for common words like so:

"do as * say not as * do" quote origin English usage

Presto! Google runs the search without complaint and you're in for some well-honed results.

TIP
Common words such as "I," "a," "the," and "of" actually do no good in the first place. Called "stop words," they are ignored by Google entirely. To force Google to take a stop word into account, prepend it with a + (plus) character, as in:+the.
Source code accompanying the book can be downloaded from here. Also of possible interest to those looking for more hacks is this site

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