timeforcake: A contest & google search tips
This week I’ve got an easy contest and some great prizes for you. It’s extremely simple: anyone who e-mails me (email@example.com) with three website, tech, or computer-related questions they’d like answered or topics they’d like covered in a future timeforcake article will be entered into the prize drawing. Please make sure the subject of your e-mail reads “SDN Article Ideas Contest.” That’s it. Send me three questions and you’re entered into the prize drawing.The three first-prize winners will each receive a $120 gift certificate to Trinity Wellness Studio in Frisco (www.trinitywellnessfrisco.com), good for 10 pilates mat classes or two private pilates sessions (or four equipment classes if you’re already experienced with pilates). Or, if you’d prefer, the $120 gift certificate can used toward 50 percent off massages or yoga classes.The grand-prize winner receives a $240 gift certificate – double what the first-prize winners receive.(Restrictions: Limited redemption period applies. Current students at Trinity Wellness are not eligible.)So what are you waiting for? Send me your questions and topics for future articles! I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
When you put quotation marks around a set of words in your Google search box, you’re essentially telling Google to consider those exact words in that exact order without any changes whatsoever. You’re telling Google you mean serious business and you know exactly what you want to find. It’s important to remember, though, that using quotes can potentially eliminate the exact results you may be searching for. Not good. Here’s an example.Let’s say someone was stalking me. They want to locate every single instance of my name on the web and learn as much as possible about my life. So they head over to Google and, because they want to search specifically for me, they type in “Erin Pheil,” putting quotation marks around my name. Doing so means that they won’t be looking at results showing Rebecca Pheil or Erin Pfiel or anything else that’s … kind of close. All the results Google will list for my stalker will contain the exact phrase “Erin Pheil.” So where’s the problem?It’s quite possible that there are many pages on the web displaying my name – but doing so with, say, my middle initial. Or my full middle name. Unfortunately for my stalker, none of the pages on the web that showed my name only as Erin S. Pheil are going to show up in my stalker’s Google results. This is because by putting quotes around “Erin Pheil,” my stalker specifically told Google he wanted results with no other letters or words between the “Erin” and the “Pheil.”On the other hand, if my stalker had instead searched for “Erin S. Pheil” (using the quotation marks, of course), he would have received zero results that displayed my name as “Erin Pheil.”In sum: use quotation marks around sets of words when you’re searching – but use them wisely and be wary of the “you could be cutting out relevant results” pitfall.eRin pheiL is the owner of timeforcake (www.timeforcake.com), a web design/development studio in Frisco. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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