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When the Search function doesn't... well... function

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Kriegs, May 18, 2018.

  1. Kriegs

    Kriegs Peace

    Feb 14, 2018
    Southern New England
    Hi everyone,

    We've all seen posts where someone is being told to use the search function. We've all used it. We all know that it's very picky and will sometimes give you a result and other times won't give you that same result that it gave you last week.

    There are technological limitations but there are also workarounds that will help fill the gaps left behind due to those limitations :thumbsup:

    In this case, we can use the immense power of Google's search engines. For simplicity's sake, Google is constantly scouring the internet and cataloging and indexing what it finds and optimizes all of that data for the fastest and most accurate search results. OK, wake up, tech speak part is over ;)

    Here's how to search the entirety of talkbass.com (or any other site) utilizing that power:

    For our purposes, we are going to search talkbass.com for the following terms:
    • pbass
    • flatwound
    • tort

    In your browser's search bar (not the one on TB.com!):

    Type the following:

    site:talkbass.com p bass flatwound tort

    Hit enter, click the search button or whichever method you use to kick the search gerbils into gear and in a few seconds you should see something resembling these results:


    Google comes up with 1390 results.

    If we use TB.com's native search we get 126 results.

    I'm not disparaging TB.com's site, owners, admins or anything like that at all. I am a simple technologist that struggles with this very issue on my own sites, personally and professionally and thought that I'd share this solution that has made my life easier and I hope it will for you, too!

    To be clear, this works for any site... the usage is:

    site:[site.com] [searchTerm] [searchTerm] [searchTerm]

    Replace [site.com] with something like cnn.com or bestmetalcat.com

    Replace [searchTerm] with what you're looking for.

    • You must leave a space between each term.
    • You can use as many search terms as you want or need to. The more you use, the more focused your search will be. Careful though, too many can be as bad as not enough but over time, you'll figure out the correct balance.
    Pro tip: If you need to be particularly specific, you can include a phrase in your search terms by enclosing the phrase in double quotes, such as:
    site:talkbass.com "how many carrots are required to make a tort pickguard"

    Thanks for your time if you've read this far! :)

    Disclaimer: a cursory search using both google and TB's search engines didn't show me that this specific topic/ solution was already covered. If it has been covered, please disregard this and move along, nothing to see here.:thumbsup:
    TolerancEJ, Oddly and GregC like this.
  2. Oddly


    Jan 17, 2014
    Dublin, Ireland.
    Very helpful indeed.
    Personally I'd have just Googled pbass flatwound tort talkbass (I just did, and got 1930 results).

    Your way is clearly open to being more specific, though.
    Kriegs likes this.
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    Masks, people, masks!
    Song Surgeon slow downer.
    You can also use a negative search variable to exclude results: -searchterm.
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
    GregC, HaphAsSard and Kriegs like this.
    Kriegs and Oddly like this.
  5. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    I tried to search for "pbass -tort" and got an error message. :roflmao:

    Sometimes I just crack myself up.
    Stumbo and Kriegs like this.
  6. dab12ax7ef


    Sep 25, 2011
    I was searching for something oddly specific within TB search function and ended up here...

    but thanks for the tips.
    Kriegs and Lobster11 like this.

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