You can get better search results on our Help Desk or on Google or any search engine by using a few tools and tricks.
- Keep it simple
- Consider starting your search simply and broadly. To bring up the most results, don’t be too specific and use a single word or as few words as possible.
- For example, if you input the word Sales, it will bring up everything that has the word sales in it. If you are looking for anything to do with sales, this will give you the most results.
- Add more search terms
- Want to refine your “sales” search further? Try “sales report” – that will give you information about how to use sales reports for certain tasks. “How to run a sales report” will display any post that teaches you how to do that.
- Use quotes
- When you put your search parameters in quotes, it tells the search engine to search for the whole phrase.
- For instance, if you search for Puppy Dog Sweaters, the engine will search for content that contains ANY of those three words, separately or together, in ANY order.
- However, if you search “Puppy Dog Sweaters,” it will search for that phrase exactly as you typed it. This can quickly locate very specific information without bogging you down with other, unwanted results.
- Use a hyphen to exclude words
When you search for credit, you may get results for credit card processing and how to run a credit. If you want to focus on only one topic, use the hyphen to tell the search engine to ignore content with one or the other. For example, if you want to search for how to run a credit, you may want to exclude any results with the word “card.” You would enter the search like this: Credit -card.
- IMPORTANT – notice that there is a space between the last letter of the first word and the hyphen. This tells the search engine to search for credit but to remove any results that have the word “card” in it.
- Search for more than one term
- What if you aren’t quite sure of the term you want to search for? For example, the topic you are looking for might use the term ” season tickets” or the term “subscribers”.
- Enter: “season tickets” OR subscribers. Notice the search terms that contain more than one word, are put in quotes. This can help narrow down your search to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Be aware, though, that the more specific it is, the fewer results you’ll get.
- Use words that websites would use
- Most websites, including our Help Desk, use more professionally sounding words than are used in a normal conversation. For instance, I may tell you “my head hurts” but if I search for “headache relief” I will most likely get better results.