I've been looking for insert song title or phrase here and I can't seem to find it or any information about it anywhere, or there are simply too many links to look through. Do you have any answers?


Indeed yes I have an answer to what is my number one question overall, though obviously different in specifics. I have come to realize that many search engines don't openly advertise good search technique, something for which you have to mine a little further, usually by clicking on their Advanced Search link. This is the first place I would send those who aren't intimidated by that prospect. But there are easier solutions that apply to almost all search engines.

Big Hint #1: What To Use. I tend to favor one search engine over all others, and that is Google at www.google.com. Their search algorithms are well designed, using the number of links to a particular site as part of their criteria, and their web moles tend to turn up more sites than most other engines have in their database, a daunting task at best. Compare it with other engines using the methods shown here. You'll be convinced.

Big Hint #2: Learn More About Phrasing Your Search. We will use For Me And My Gal as an example search. If you approach this search as most users do and just enter [ for me and my gal ] into the search text box you will get more sites than you know what to do with, while the ones you really want are buried in that list. Why? Because most search engines are designed to locate sites that have ALL of those words SOMEWHERE on a page. A few engines search for ALL sites that have ANY of those words. Thankfully, most of them will ignore and, the, is and similar words, cutting down the repetition and search time somewhat. So how do you search on a phrase? USE DOUBLE QUOTATION MARKS (ex. "this is a phrase"). If you enter the following phrase as shown into most search engines, they will search for that exact phrase, not just the words anywhere in a page. They will also force the search for a specific word spelling instead of multiple variations on that word. Try [  "for me and my gal" ]. That should cut down your hits by a great deal. But we can do even better.

Big Hint #3: Use Keywords. That is nowhere near as difficult as it sounds, and it will narrow your searches down amazingly. What to use? If you know a composer/lyricists last name, just add them to the search string (outside of the phrase quotes). If you don't have those details, just add the word composer. You'll get more relevant information that way. If you are looking for a MIDI file or MP3, just add one of those words to the end of the string. If you want lyrics, tack on lyrics. A very narrow search (compared to our first attempt) would look like this: [  "for me and my gal" composer lyrics MIDI ]. The results of some Google searches are shown below.

[  for me and my gal ] yielded around 58,700,000 hits (for and and are typically not included in this search).

"for me and my gal" ] yielded around 253,000 hits.

"for me and my gal" composer ] yielded around 13,900 hits.

"for me and my gal" composer lyrics ] yielded around 7170 hits.

"for me and my gal" "composer" "lyrics" "MIDI" ] yielded around 1780 hits, from which this site and this page are readily located. Note that all of the words are directly forced through the use of double quotation marks.

Survey results taken on the Google links above on July 1, 2015. Your mileage may vary.

Big Hint #4: Use Inclusions and Exclusions. This is a little more advanced, but it has its place on many engines and it not too confusing. To explicitly include something so it has to be in a page (implied in most searches) you can add a plus (+) in front of it. To explicitly exclude an item to narrow down searches you can add a minus (-) in front of it. An example would be as follows:
[  +"for me and my gal" -"judy garland" ].

Big Hint #5: Search for alternate terms all at once. This is a bit advanced, but is a staple of programming that works on most engines. Use upper case OR between multiple phrases or words within parenthesis to search for one or the other term to locate sites using either. Upper case AND would work the same as the plus sign, and is usually the default behavior on a search engine, but it can also be used. If OR/AND is not upper case, it will be included as a search term rather than a search operator. An example would be as follows:
[  "for me and my gal" dvd ("judy garland" OR "gene kelly") ].

Happy Searching.