How to search a site when there is no search menu

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Sometimes you might want to do a search, but you want to limit that search to a particular website.  For example, let’s say there is a blog about personal finance that you read regularly.  You remember reading an article one time that talked about the benefit of compound interest over time, but you don’t know when.  It could have been 6 months ago, or it could have been 2 years ago (your memory is not what it used to be).

site search

Fortunately a lot of websites these days have a search function displayed right on the home page.  That makes it easy.  But what if there is no site search offered?



You just use a special search in Google.  This is basically a regular Google search, but you have to make sure Google knows to only search on this one particular site.  To do that, the search would look like this:

site:websitename.com searchword

So if you wanted to search the NFL website for any mention of the name “Buccaneers”, it would look like this:

site search

Go ahead and do that search in Google.  You will see that the results match the search.  Every page listed in the results contains the word “buccaneers”, and every page in the results is from the NFL.com website.  No other websites are included:

site search

The disadvantage of this type of search is that it depends on Google having indexed every page on the site.  This means that if the site just posted a new page or blog post an hour ago, Google probably has not yet seen that page – so it would not be included in the search results.

There is an alternative type of search that is site-specific but I’m not sure it would work on all websites.  It doesn’t depend on Google’s indexing function at all because it doesn’t use Google.  Doing it this way, you just go to the address bar at the top of the screen, and enter the actual address of the site you wish to search, and follow it with a short suffix.  The suffix is:

/?s=searchword

For example, if you wanted to search my site for any page that mentions the word “backup” you would enter this into the address bar and hit Enter:

http://computertutorflorida.com/?s=backup

If you do this on my site, you will see that there are 30 blog posts that come up that mention the word “backup” at least one time.

This second method I believe would work fine on smaller blog sites such as mine, but not as well on the more complex sites like the NFL website.

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Larry O'Grady
June 10th, 2013

A Google search for this – site:computertutorflorida.com galaxy

turns up: “Your search – site:computertutorflorida.com galaxy – did not match any documents.”

Are you going to tell me you have NEVER mentioned anything to do with the Samsung Galaxy series? I could have sworn you had a shortcut or two you wrote about a short while ago concerning the G4.

– Larry –

Scott Johnson
June 10th, 2013

I wouldn’t expect to find anything Galaxy-related on my site, since I try to keep it about computer usage rather than phones or tablets. Of course, once Google has re-indexed this page, that same search will find your comment. 🙂

LaGaspa
June 15th, 2013

Another feature that I suggest to let listeners know is the ability to search for text as you type in Firefox!. Fore example, if you’re at a page and you are looking for a certain paragraph to quote on a long, long page of text and you remember part of a sentence/word within it, once you enable Search Text in Firefox you just start typing and TA-DA!!

To enable it, got to Options>AdvancedTab and check the box “Search for text when I start typing” When I repair my customers computer I always enable it. And thanks again for your suggestion on Teamviewer for remote access. BTW, I’m Ghetto Geek in the Podnutz forums.

Scott Johnson
June 15th, 2013

Thanks! I use that feature in Firefox and other web browsers as well. I usually hit the keyboard shortcut for it – Ctrl + F. Appreciate the feedback!

LaGaspa
June 15th, 2013

True but I think Firefox is the only one that, once enabled, it’s not necessary to use that shortcut..just start typing. Love the show. I use Stitcher to listen Media Monkey to pull it down RSS.

Scott Johnson
June 15th, 2013

Thanks, glad you like the podcast. Now that I think about it, that’s right – I just start typing in Firefox and it starts searching for that word or phrase.