9 Hot Tips for Google Searches

9 Hot Tips for Google SearchesLast week I shared ideas on 10 cool things you can do with Google. This week, I’m back with nine more hot tips.

If you’re not familiar with Google’s Advanced Search page and features, then you might not be getting as much out of your web searches as you could…

  1. “I’m feeling lucky”

    Google's I'm Feeling Lucky buttonThis search option on Google takes you directly to the top search result page. For example, entering “WSJ” and clicking “I’m feeling lucky” will take you directly to the Wall Street Journal’s website.

  2. Check a numerical range

    Use the “X..Y” modifier to search for any number within a given range. “Invisalign 2008..2010″ will return results that contain both “Invisalign” and a number between 2005 and 2010, which is particularly useful if you’re looking for a date range.Numerical range search on Google

  3. Search for file types

    Searching for “cosmetic dentistry filetype:ppt” will return PowerPoint files with “cosmetic dentistry” as a keyword. You can also use it for other file types: .xls (Excel spreadsheet), .doc (Microsoft Word document), .pdf (Adobe PDF), and more.Search for type of files on Google

  4. Remove results from specific sites

    This is particularly useful if your search results are dominated by one website that doesn’t interest you – for example, if you’re in the shopping section and you’re overwhelmed by eBay results.

  5. Avoid results you don’t want

    All you have to do is include the minus sign before any word you don’t want to appear in your search results – for example, “bracesInvisalign” would exclude Invisalign results from your braces search.Exclude search results on Google

  6. See it even after it’s gone

    Google’s “cached” feature is a powerful tool. You’ll often see a small link that says “Cached” next to individual search results. Clicking that link will show you a snapshot of that website that Google has stored on its own servers. This can allow you see content that has been removed from the live site. It also provides a way to access content on blocked websites or URLs.

  7. Broaden your search to include related terms

    Use the tilde (~) symbol to search for related words. Google typically searches for closely related terms (for instance, a search for “pediatric dentist” will also return results for pediatric dentists and pediatric dentistry). The tilde lets you expand that to even more related words or phrases. For example, a search for “~gum disease” will also return results with keywords of gingivitis, periodontal disease, periodontitis, etc.

  8. Narrow your search to include exact words or phrases

    You can search for an exact phrase or word by putting it in quotes. With a single word, you can also put a plus symbol in front of the word. For example, “+denture” will return only results with the exact word “denture,” not related words like dentures or synonyms like false teeth.

  9. And remember: the Advanced Search page is your friend!

    This is always a small link underneath the main search button. You don’t have to know any special syntax to use the advanced search, because it’s very user-friendly. Here are some of the things you can do from the Advanced Search page:Google Advanced Search page

    • Search for an exact phrase
    • Exclude words from your search
    • Do searches that include OR functionality
    • Select how many results to display per page
    • Choose your language
    • Search for specific file types
    • How recent the page is
    • Choose where your keywords show up in your results (text, title, URL, etc.)
    • Turn Safe Search on and off
    • Restrict your search to a particular domain

Next week, I’ll share some tips for using Google to monitor the health of your dental website.

9 Ways To Monitor the Health of Your Dental Website

Using Google to monitor the health of your dental websiteOver the past weeks I’ve shared some of my favorite Google search tips. Now I’d like to show you how to use Google to monitor the health of your website.

The first and most important thing for any website owner to know is their site’s Google ranking. But that’s far from the end of it!

You can start by reviewing my 9 hot tips for Google searches and 10 cool things you can do with Google.

Here are nine things all owners of dental websites can do to monitor their sites:

  1. What’s your search ranking?

    First, you need to know what keyword(s) you’re targeting. (For dentists, this will typically be along the lines of “dental implants Louisville” or “cosmetic dentist La Jolla” or something similar.) Be sure to log out of Google/Gmail and use the “Private Browsing” option under the “Tools” section of your Internet browser. A listing of 5 means that you are the 5th listing on the search results page. (Obviously, lower numbers are better here!)

  2. What websites does Google think your website is related to?

    Find out by doing a search like “related:thewealthydentist.com” (except you’ll want to use your own URL, of course). You can also find this option on the “Advanced search” page. It’s a bit unpredictable, but sometimes returns interesting results.

  3. What’s happening inside of your website?

    Just add “site:yourwebsite.com” to restrict your search results to pages on your own website. You can quickly find information, or use this feature to see which pages on your site rank highest for specific keyword phrases. And if you forget the “site:” operator, don’t worry: you can do the same thing from the Advanced Search page.

  4. Who’s linking to you?

    In general, it’s a good thing to have other websites linking to yours; it improves your site’s standing in Google’s eyes. (In fact, getting other sites to link to yours can be a good strategy to increase your search engine ranking.) Find out who’s linking to you by using the “link:” operator.

    You can also see a list of all pages that contain your website URL (even it’s written as text, not a hyperlink) by doing a regular keyword search for your URL.

  5. What does your Google listing look like?

    Use the “info:” operator to see a sample listing of your website. The text displayed in your website’s Google description is an important part of your overall internet dental marketing. This text (known as “metatext”) is near the very top of the HTML code for your homepage.

    Sample Google info listing

  6. What’s been updated on your website recently?

    By combining multiple features of the Advanced Search page, you can tailor your search results. For example, restrict the search to your dental website, and look only for pages updated within the past month to see which pages have been updated recently.

  7. Want to review all the images on your site?

    Just go to Image Search and enter “site:yoursite.com” to see all the images on your website.

  8. Is your local listing in order?

    Many patients may look for you through Google Local Search or on Google Maps, and it’s up to you to make sure that the information available about your practice is up-to-date and correct. Look up your name in Google Maps, find your listing, click the “more info” button, and confirm that all information is correct. Near the top right corner of that page, you’ll see a link that says “Business owner?” Here, you can update information. In addition, Google Maps appears to give preference in its rankings to owner-verified listings.

Maintaining Dental Websites: Who’s Doing It?

Who maintains your dental website?Most dentists with dental websites have a website consultant or internet dental marketing company that handles site maintenance, this survey found.

In a recent survey, we discovered that 3 out of 4 dentists have a dental website.

Of dentists with websites, 32% personally oversee their website, 14% have staff oversee it, and 55% have a website consultant or dental marketing company that maintains it.

“We have regular meeting about updating the site with the website consultant, the staff, plus all the doctors in our group practice,” said a Texas pediatric dentist.

Read more: Dental Website Maintenance & Internet Dental Marketing

Google People Search: Profile Results

When it comes to maintaining a visible Internet presence, not all dentists face the same obstacles. You can bet that Dr. John Smith faces a very different set of problems than Dr. Jahun Symeth.

Dr. Symeth’s challenge is to get patients to spell his name correctly when they search for him online.

Dr. Smith’s challenge is to somehow remain visible in a sea of other Smiths. And if there happens to be another Dr. Smith in the same city… Well, it can be enough to make one consider changing one’s name.

Ordinary people face the same set of issues. If your name is even remotely common, it can be quite difficult to find the real you online. Do a Google search, and your own identity can easily be lost amid competing results for other people with your name.

Google has realized that people don’t like this – and they’re doing something about it. They have introduced a new Google Profile Results function that will show basic information on different people with the same name.

Here’s what it looks like:

Google profile search results

All you need is a Google account to set up your own profile. You can post as much or as little information as you’d like. You can even let people contact you by email without revealing your email address.

My own name – Julie Frey – is not terribly common. But search for me on Google, and I don’t even make the first page. I was invisible in a sea of other Julie Freys slightly more famous than myself.

Then I loaded up my Google Profile… the first Julie Frey to do so. Now my picture shows up on page 1. Take that, other Julie Freys!

Just follow this link to set up your own profile and make yourself more visible online:
Google Profiles

Virtual Dental School Opens in Second Life

The University of Maryland Dental School has opened its doors in the online universe of Second Life, the first US dental school to do so. Second Life is a popular internet-based 3-D “virtual universe” with millions of registered users.

The virtual dental school is a three-story brick building with separate lab. Unlike its real-world counterpart in Maryland, this school is located on a sunny island.

This fall, the Second Life school will be a part of new student orientation.

“What’s most awesome about this is the ability to simulate activities-that may include greeting a new patient or taking a patient’s health history,” says Julie Gilliam, the program’s creator and an instructional technology specialist.

Read more about it


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