Google Guidance

July 2004
by Sherry Y. Smith

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There are two monthly events that I especially look forward to these days. One is the meeting of PALA (Publisher’s Association of Los Angeles), of which I’m a member, and the other is the arrival of this fabulous PMA Newsletter. Both provide a wealth of inspiration and information that lets me know I’m not on this self-publishing journey alone.

After a speaker at a recent PALA meeting told us about a Google search engine command that’s useful to publishing businesses, I did a little research of my own to explore it and to see what else Google had to offer me.

Here are some of the search options that I have found useful.

To improve placement. Getting a high placement ranking in Google depends partly on how many sites are linked to you. To find out which sites are, use Google’s link query: link:siteURL (for example, link:pma-online.org shows all pages pointing to PMA’s Web site). The link query also provides a good way to see who’s linked to your competition.

To find a particular phrase or person. If you’re searching for an exact phrase or name, enclose it in quotation marks. If you want information about a specific person, include details that will help screen out people with similar names. For instance, if you were searching for my name, using my middle initial–“Sherry Y. Smith”–would give you better results than using just IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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