It's easy to refine a query to get precisely the results you want. Here
are some effective techniques to try:
Identify a phrase.
The before query is ambiguous. Is it looking for the
home page of songs like "Run, Run, Run" or baseball
statistics? Identifying "home run" as a phrase eliminates the
ambiguity. This is the most powerful query refinement technique.
|Before:||home run records|
|After:||"home run" records|
Add a discriminating word or a phrase.
As before, the before query is ambiguous. Adding
baseball makes the query less ambiguous. You'll get
more total matches (because the query is broadened with an additional
term), but the relevance ranking will be better.
|Before:||"home run" records|
|After:||"home run" records baseball|
Capitalize when appropriate.
These examples, when all lower case, have a variety of possible
interpretations. For example, without capitalization,
wired could refer to electrical cables and not Wired
Magazine. baby bells could refer to the Bells' children
on the "Young and the Restless." Capitalization reduces the
ambiguity. It is always a good idea to capitalize proper
|Before:||wired digital white house, baby bells, bill gates|
|After:||Wired, Digital, White House, Baby Bells, Bill Gates|
Use a require or reject operator (+,-).
Barney alone is ambiguous. Is it looking for Smith
Barney investment information or cartoon dinosaur pages? You can use the
reject operator (the "minus" sign) to eliminate the cartoon
dinosaur interpretation. Or, you can require that the word
"Smith" be in the document. The after version
above does both.
|After:||Barney, +Smith -dinosaur|
Use a field specifier.
If you are looking for a particular page that you know the site or
title, use the site: or title: field
specifier to search for that the word or phrase in the site or title of
the page. See Special Searches for more
information on field specifiers.
|After:||Sun workstation, site:sun.com, title:Ultra|