Searching for a specific bridge resource, website, name or download and keep finding your search results crowded by bridges that have nothing to do with the game? Here’s more about how to make more effective use of your nearest search engine to weed through everything else and find your way to the search results you want.
Not That Kind of Bridge
Search terms are often overloaded with keywords matching with the wrong kind of bridge. (I’m not sure if any other players and writers find this as frustrating as I do, but it can get in the way.) A general search for “bridge” either under normal search results or news is likely to get you articles about everything – suspension and concrete, but only a few littered results for contract and auction.
Adding defining keywords like “contract”, “auction”, “club” or “lesson” to your search helps.
Instead of just typing “bridge in Italy”, type “bridge club in Italy” or “contract bridge club in Italy” to give the search engine a bit of a nudge in the right direction.
If you want to be even more specific than this, you can add quotation marks (“”) to your search terms to look only for results that exclusively contain what you entered. Use the minus sign (-) instead to remove search terms from your search – this is particularly useful when you have something you’ve already read about (usually very recent news) crowding your search results.
You can also add file prefixes by typing the “file:” command and then the extension, or just include the extension in your search results. (E.g. “Contract bridge rules PDF”)
Searching Specific Sites
For searching a specific site for keywords, Google – and most search engines out there powered by it – will use the “site:” command, with the website entered right after. (and without quotation marks). This is a useful shortcut where you need to find something on any website that lacks a search bar of its own for inter-site searches.
Scanning the Wall of Text
If you have to find a single word, name or term in a wall of text or particularly large document, the keyboard shortcut CTRL + F brings up the search function for most word processors, document readers and browsers.
Use the Tools Option
Don’t ignore the tools and settings buttons on your search engine: They can help you to further refine your search, usually available under a tab that says Advanced Settings or something of the like.
Here, you can set the period of time for archive searches, more specific keywords and just what you’re searching for. All designed, of course, to make you find the right search results faster.
For websites like YouTube, refining your settings also means entering the length of the videos that you’d like to search for.
For a recent article dealing with the bridge scene in China, I made it to the Chinese Contract Bridge Federation’s website – and realized within a few seconds that none of it was in English. Google Translate came to the rescue. While it’s not as great as a translator or interpretor (and there are still plenty of bugs to iron out), translating a website into your chosen language can help you to find your way around.