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  1. #1
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Google search for UsingEnglish content

    I have seen several posts recently whose authors had trouble searching the site for certain words. The site's search feature doesn't allow searching for the most common words, which is problematic on a language site -- the most common words are often the most confusing ones.

    This problem can be solved by using Google's "site" operator. Typing

    site:usingenglish.com "would"

    in the Google search box gives us the UE pages containing the word "would", which is impossible to search for via the UE search box. It also allows one to perform many searches within a short period of time as, unlike UE, Google doesn't force the user to wait 20 seconds between searches.

    The UE Advanced Search is still very useful most of the time. It's much easier to set site-specific search parameters there. However, Google has some options too, some of which are unavailable on UE as far as I know. I may be wrong, but I think that it's impossible to search for an entire phrase on UE, while Google provides the very useful quotation marks feature.

    I'm posting this for two reasons. First, I would like to let other members know about this option. I've been using it with success for some time. Second, I want to ask if it would be possible to have a Google search option available on this site. I've seen it on other forums and it seems to work very well. Most of them make it very basic: they just append "site:X" at the beginning of the phrase. I think it could be useful to have the "daterange" operator available as well. It is not perfectly reliable because the dates it uses are the dates of indexing the content by Google, not publishing the content on the internet. But I have noticed that UE content is indexed very quickly. It would also require the UE to use a built-in or external date format converter. Many other features could perhaps be added. This just an idea.

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Google search for UsingEnglish content

    Site search is very memory consuming as it searches in real time, I believe, while Google searches cached versions, so there are pluses and minuses to both, which is why we have them both. There's a Google site search box, but it doesn't appear not to be working at the moment- I have contacted the Webmaster, who will do his magic and get it sorted. You'll find it at the top right of the screen. At the moment, very serious changes are going on under the bonnet because of the EU cookie law - you may have seen a bar and button appear - and things are changing inside to conform with that.

  3. #3
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Google search for UsingEnglish content

    Thanks! I have no idea how I could never have seen that box! It seems that it does work, but only after clicking "Search" and re-typing the query on the page the click leads us to: Search - UsingEnglish.com.

    However, the hits are completely different from what I get from typing "site:usingenglish.com "would"" in Google. How does this search work? Also, when you click the link above, there will be no hits and no query, even though I've copy-pasted the URL I got from searching for "would" (and there's the string "would" in the URL). This is a problem I think, because linking to Google searches is useful sometimes.

    EDIT: OK, I think I understand. The hits I got where all from the Support forum because I clicked "Search" while being here. When I paste "http://www.usingenglish.com/search/" into the address bar and type in "would", I get the same hits as in a plain old Google search. Could you please tell me how it's done? I would like to know how to search specific forums only from Google.

    EDIT2: Ha! "site:usingenglish.com/forum/support would" works!
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 06-Jun-2012 at 14:13.

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