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Ten essential tips for searching the Web

Joe Kissell | Oct. 16, 2013
Searching for the right results among the billions of pages on the Web? You don't need just a search engine; you also need some know-how.

And, depending on your browser, this sort of URL may also throw off your browsing history, making it difficult to see which sites you've been to.

Luckily, you can solve this problem with a browser extension. My pick for Apple's Safari is Shaun Inman's free Detox. (It was originally designed for Twitter, but it works great for Google, too.) For Google Chrome, first install the free Tampermonkey, and then add the script Scrub Google Redirect Links. For Mozilla Firefox, try Wladimir Palant's free Google/Yandex search link fix.

9. Use another search engine
Even the best Google search won't help you find pages that Google hasn't indexed, or items that are on page 5987 out of 28,001. If Google isn't cutting it, you have alternatives. Competitors, including Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com, and DuckDuckGo, may point you to sites that don't show up in Google. And because each search engine prioritizes search results differently, the page you're looking for may be more prominent in one than in another. If you get stuck, trying the same search in another engine may do the trick.

10. Try a metasearch
If you frequently need to search across multiple engines (and, perhaps, on highly specific databases that store information not indexed in general-purpose public search engines), you might be a good candidate for DevonAgent Pro (4 out of 5 rating), which can query many sites and services at once and summarize search results in a way that exposes connections between related concepts.

 

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