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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 07-03-2013, 19:44 Thread Starter
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How to use the search engine

A thread has been posted where the usefulness of the search engine was questioned with too many results being returned.

Here are some tips on getting the most out of the search engine.

This provides your basic search options... however the default options displayed aren't very effective for a good search. There are also some important limitations:

Minimum Word Length: 3 Characters
Can't search common words
Can't search special characters (alpha numeric only)

Basic Search Syntax
Search multiple words use Boolean operators such as:
- AND (ex. door AND handle)
- OR (ex. door OR handle)
- NOT (ex. door NOT handle) or use the minus sign (-) (ex. door -handle)
Search for an exact phrase using quotes:
- (ex. "door handle")
Search for wild cards using asterisks (*)
- (ex. *mail)

There are basically 2 kinds of useless searches... one where there are NO results returned... obviously useless... and second, when there are TOO MANY results returned- also useless.

Often there's not much you can do about the first type but expand your search options- if you're searching "Titles Only" change it "All Posts." If you're searching just "MGF and MGTF (Sponsored by MGF Mania)" search "Model Specific Forums" or even "All Forums".

If however you get too many results, which I often find to be the case, there are useful tips to help narrow down your search. First, most importantly, search "Titles Only." Seriously, this should be the default search behavior. 90% of the time (a statistic I just made up) what you're looking for will be in a thread title... Next, if you can, limit "All Forums" to something more specific... if it's an MGF in "MGF and MGTF (Sponsored by MGF Mania)" only - basic stuff but this makes all the difference from getting 500 results returned on just a useful handful when searching.

Make sure you choose your search terms well... don't search for something like: HGF failure how to fix, for one that won't even work because some words are less than 3 characters, but even if it did you would have a lot of irrelevant results. Instead search for just the main words like HGF failure AND fix or even better search for the phrase "how to fix HGF" (with the quotes.) Now you might say "but 'to' only has 2 letters, how can I search for it?" Ordinarily this is true, you can't search for "to" but since "to" is inside quotes you are searching for the entire phrase and it is perfectly acceptable.

Finally since the vast majority of is open to the public you can search the forum using Google. When you use Google you don't have the limitations imposed by the vBulletin search engine. Google searches can be very useful.

To limit Google to return results only on a specific site (domain) simply add after your search terms.


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