----Befriending Google Even More----
By Niels (aka Ch4r) | firstname.lastname@example.org
This tutorial may be redistributed and hosted on other servers as long as I, Niels am given full credit, and it remains completely intact.
You've probably seen a few question-askers flamed for not Googling before they search. It would be stating the obvious to say that quite a bit of information can be found on Google. Often you can find what you want simply by typing some text in and clicking search. However, this method will not always return what you want. This is where an art that is often referred to as "Google Hacking" comes in. And no, Google hacking is not pwning Google's server in a 1337 manner, Google hacking is learning to get the results you want from a Google search, not thousands of irrelevant links. This is accomplished via the use of operators. Before we start, shouts to Zugg, mu, Ic3D4ne, Subby, evasion, Edit, Oropix, and everyone else I forgot to mention.
One of the most basic operators is the + (plus) operator. To demonstrate how this is useful, Google for "what is Google". You'll get results, but you'll also receive a small message that says "The following words are very common and were not included in your search: what is." This is because Google ignores extremely common words (eg is, are, am, could, what). If we want to include those words in our search anyway, we can implement the + operator. Thus, to include the words 'what' and 'is' in our query, we would search for the following:
+what +is Google
The first result that I get, and quite likely the first result you'll get from that query is something called "Google Print'. If we wanted to search for "what is Google", but exclude all pages with the word "print" in them from the search, the - operator is used. Thus, the search would be:
+what +is Google -print
Hit the search button, on the top result is no longer "Google Print". In fact, if one could be bothered to look through every page, the "Google Print" page would be nowhere to be found, because we chose to exclude all pages with the word "print" from our search.
So far, we've searched for pages that contain the words "what" "is" "Google" anywhere in the content. However, if we really want to know what Google is, we'd want to search for the phrase "what is Google". To do so, enclose the phrase to be searched for in quotes: "what is Google". This searches for all pages where the words "what", "is", and "Google" appear, but all in that order with no words in between.
Google also supports wild cards. The . (period) wild card matches a single character in your query. For example, "ca.s" would match pages that contain the words 'cats', 'cars', or anything else that is caXs, where X is any character. The * wild card is used to signal any word. Thus, searching for "binary *" would match "binary universe", "binary pwns", or anything else in the form of "binary X", where X is any single word.
You've probably seen some sites that allow you to Google their site for a certain term. This is accomplished via the "site" advanced operator. The following syntax is used for the site operator:
For example, if we wanted to search www.projectfearless.com
for the term "Nielsosky", we would use the following:
The "inurl" advanced operator is used to search for a term within URL's. For example, searching for "inurl:binaryuniverse" searched for all sites that have the term "binaryuniverse" in their URL. The "intitle" is used to search for a term in the title. Thus, "intitle:binaryuniverse" finds all pages with "binaryuniverse" in their title.
Google keeps caches of pages. When the Google spider indexes a page, it stores a copy of it. Thus, the cache is a copy of what the page was like at an earlier date. To view the cache for a page, you can simply search for the page, and then click the "cache" link underneath. However, there is a quicker way, that involves only typing in search terms, and not clicking. Simply type "cache:pageurl.com" to view the cache of a page (in this case pageurl.com).
Google also allows you to search for pages of a certain filetype, using the syntax "filetype:TYPE". Replace 'TYPE' with the file type you want to search for. So, if you wanted to search for tutorials on SQL that are in PDF format, you would search for the following:
SQL Tutorial filetype:PDF
Not only is Google the world's best search engine, it also happens to be a mighty fine dictionary. To use it as a dictionary, just type "define:TERM", and replace TERM with the word you wish to look up. For example, if you want to look up "roflmao", type "define:roflmao", without the quotes. This will give you several different resources for definitions or roflmao. Fyi, roflmao means "rolling on the floor laughing my ass off". To be honest, if you didn't know that, m3h r0flm40 @ j00r s7up1d17y!
And now, it's time for some fun -- Google whacking. Actually, after a couple minutes, I have found Google whacking to become extremely boring, not to mention frustrating. A google whack is a two-word query that returns one result. You may not use quotes, and both words in the query must be real words. And yes, it is very hard. For more info, I suggest you check out http://googlewhacking.com
At this point, the basics of Google have been covered, and you should be a moderately good Googler. I hope this helped someone, somewhere, please don't be scriptkiddies, and happy Googlin'!