by By Michael J. Shapiro | November 01, 2009

1109 ComputerInternet searches may seem fairly straightforward, but many people aren't aware of the opportunities that exist for refining the research process. Randolph "Ran" Hock, author of The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook and The Traveler's Web, shares some tips for increasing efficiency and finding the information you need. Unless noted, these techniques work for all major search engines.

Use quotation marks.
To find the complete, precise phrase you're seeking (e.g., "room rates"), remember to surround your search terms with quotation marks.

Insist on a word.
To see only the results that have a given word or phrase in the page's title, use the "intitle:" prefix (e.g., baltimore downtown intitle:attractions).

Check out advanced search.
Advanced search pages include nuggets such as the "find pages that link to the page" option, or the ability to search by file type -- so that you find only PDFs, for instance. (Those features aren't available in the Ask or Bing search engines.)

Find other content. Search for images, video or news using filter links. "You'd be surprised by how much relevant information is found in videos," Hock says. Note: Google video searches cover YouTube.