Many translators have discovered the strength of the popular Internet search engine Google as a daily aid in finding information on the giant web. It helps us find background information on subjects we are dealing with, find similar texts, check spellings and frequency of words… Google is the key to a treasure of information.
However, we have all experienced that searching efficiently is an art in itself.
This short guide may give you a better insight in efficient searching and will reveal some lesser-known tips and tricks that will help you to get more out of Google.
It starts with some basic points and a short list of common syntaxes, which most readers may be tempted to skip. Those who do take the time to read them may still learn something new.
The main part of this guide is dedicated to special syntaxes.
Those of you who would like to have the full document with screenshots of the examples, can get it free of charge from firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOME BASIC POINTS
Google has a 10-word limit. If you type more, all words after the tenth word will be ignored. If you need more words, it may be helpful to use the “wildcard” syntax (*) to replace common words (see further), which Google will not count.
By default, if you type more than one word, Google will assume you want all words to be included in the search result, as if you had typed “AND” between each word.
Google is not case sensitive. Searching for “translation agency”, “Translation Agency” or “TRANSLATION AGENCY” will produce the same results.
Google will ignore common words such as: “a”, “the”, “and”, “of”. If you want to include them in your search line, add “+” in front (e.g. "translators +in Belgium").
Similarly, insert “-“ before a word you want ignored (e.g. translation –proofreading).
Example: translator OR proofreader
translator | proofreader
Google will search for “translator” or “proofreader”
Example: "Dutch translator”
Google will search for the exact words: “Dutch translator”
Example: freelance *
Google will search for the word freelance and any other word succeeding it, e.g. “freelance translator”, “freelance jobs”, “freelance work” etc.
This feature allows combining common syntaxes
Example: freelance (translator | proof-reader)
Google will search for “freelance”, “translator”, “proof-reader translator”, “freelance translator” and “freelance proof-reader”.
Special syntaxes let you search specific parts of web pages or specific types of information. They are great tools for narrowing down your results.
Intitle: searches only the titles of the web pages.
InURL: searches only the URLs (Internet addresses).
Intext: searches only the text in the body of the web page.
Inanchor: searches only the descriptive text of a link, whether it is a text or picture.
Site: searches only sites or top-level domains.
Link: Typing in the "web page address" will give you a list of all pages linking to that specific URL.
Daterange: limits search to a range of dates.
Example: Proz daterange:2453133-2453135
Note that daterange works with Julian dates, not the Gregorian dates we use every day.
You will need to convert your Gregorian date to a Julian date by means of a date conversion utility (e.g. http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/JulianDate.html) or use the handy Faganfinder Google interface (http://europa.eu.int/eurodicautom/Controller) to use Gregorian dates.
Filetype: Searches for any file name extensions.
Example: glossary filetype:pdf
File types indexed by Google :
wk, wk1, wk2, wk3, wk4, wk5, wki, wku
Related: searches for other URLs of a similar nature.
Query in site: restricts your search to a specific site.
Example: Hoefman site:http://www.proz.com
Allinurl: restricts the results to documents containing the word (of the query) in the URLONLY.
Allintitle: restricts the results to documents containing the word (of the query) in the title only.
Cache: Searches in cache versions of pages indexed by Google.
~: Searches for your keyword and its synonyms.
Example: laserprinter ~help
Dictionary: Searches for dictionary sites about the topic you enter.
Define: Searches for definitions of your keyword.