Search hints to help you find pages with legitimate Excel web page content, and avoid pages that are serving out newsgroup postings, represent postings in a forum, or are strictly red herring sites.  Tips to help you get back to website content searches where pages were specifically designed to help you. 
Subject:   Search for Excel content on the Web
Location:  http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/search_excel.htm
Home page:  http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/excel.htm

Search for Excel content on the Web

Help to find where you want to be on my pages

My Excel Pages home page is an index to my Excel pages and can can be found at
  http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/excel.htm

There is an index which indexes pages on my site as well as other sites, and some MS KB articles.  This index can be found at:
  http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/xlindex.htm

A list of webpage titles on this site can be found on my Search page through the Free Find, Site Map: provides an Alphabetical list of Titles (List of Web Page Topics)..

Return From Whence You Came.  (but there is more information below)

Excel Sites Search, specific MVP sites

You are on the search_excel.htm page of David McRitchie's -- My Excel Pages
   David McRitchie's Site:  http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/          powered by FreeFind 

Perhaps you wanted Chip Pearson's topic.htm which serves as his index page. 

   Chip Pearson's Site:  http://www.cpearson.com/excel/excel.htm          powered by FreeFind 

   John Walkenbach's pages   http://www.j-walk.com/ss/excel                -- Atomz.com Search
Search tips for j-walk

   Deborah Dalgleish's pages   http://www.contextures.com                -- Google site search

   MVPS.org pages not just Excel   http://www.mvps.org                -- Google site search


List of Current Microsoft Excel MVP awardees
Excel MVP sites at http://www.mvps.org/links.html#Excel includes sites of current and former Excel MVPs.

Firefox users can install keyword shortcut (#keywords)

See Bookmark Shortcuts, Keyword Shortcuts Creation and Keyboard Shortcuts.  You can drag this search Excel MVP web pages to a keywords (K) folder in your Firefox personal toolbar and modify the properties of the bookmark to use a keyword of mvp:  It will effect the following string in the advanced Google search. 
(site:www.cpearson.com OR inurl:dmcritchie OR site:www.j-walk.com OR site:www.appspro.com OR site:www.oaltd.co.uk OR site:www.contextures.com OR site:www.rondebruin.nl OR site:xcell05.free.fr OR site:www.tushar-mehta.com OR site:www.andypope.info) %s

where the %s will be replaced by whatver you type after the “mvp:”.

The actual link looks like:  (spaces have been included before +OR for readability)
http://www.google.com/search?q=%28site%3Awww.cpearson.com +OR+inurl%3Admcritchie +OR+site%3Awww.j-walk.com +OR+site%3Awww.appspro.com +OR+site%3Awww.oaltd.co.uk +OR+site%3Awww.contextures.com +OR+site%3Awww.rondebruin.nl +OR+site%3Axcell05.free.fr +OR+site%3Awww.tushar-mehta.com +OR+site%3Awww.andypope.info%29+%s

to search on symbols and greek you would use
  mvp: symbols+greek

advantage: Junk sites are eliminated in searches by limiting to MVP sites.
disadvantage: Too restrictive, can't even include all MVP sites, and MVP sites may not have the best material for a topic.  Google only allows 32 search arguments and each site counts as an argument not leaving room for the search itself.

Firefox users can install Customize Google extension   (#customizegoogle)

Enhances the Google search results by adding extra information (like links to Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, MSN etc) and removing unwanted information (like ads and spam). All features are optional and easily configured from the options menu.

This is a rather unique approach it suppresses most of the information for unwanted sites, except the URL itself from the Google results, making it easy to ignore what you do not want to see.

Specifically the extension allows you to identify webpages you do not want to ever see.  For Excel this works pretty decently as you have web pages and you have Google Groups for newsgroup postings, so banning sites or parts of sites as far as Excel searches are concerned works fine.  This technique would not work for Firefox which only has webpage forums and not newsgroups.

Example of my own list to you with this extension can be found in junkgoogle.txt (please don't link to this file there is no noindex option for text files).

Advantage:  Regain control, be able to do web page searches that pick up legitimate web pages, not just MVP sites.
Disadvantage:  Requires you to create an maintain a single list of sites you don't want to see.  No option to turn on or off within a search.  You would have to disable the option.  You have to specifically list the sites you do not want to see:  spammy sites, newsgroup repeaters (forums), registration required sites.

Try to focus on the topics you want (#topics)

Try to search on the keywords that you want to find, use ...

Search Hints for websites (#hints)

It is rather unfortunate that there are web pages that are merely repetitions of postings to newsgroups.  If you want to search newsgroups you can do that with Google Groups search.  But when you have 100 postings hidden in a web page you get lots of hits and very little content of interest.  Another thing that interferes with searches is unrelated advertising that has some hits on your keywords.

So for my own use I would eliminate all hits referring to exceltips.com, excelforum.com, ozgrid.com, The following making use of inurl: should work (don't confuse inurl: with allinurl: )

Some examples (#examples), at least some are too long to use from Internet Explorer. 

You can probably try the above by using the Mozilla Firefox browser The presence of such sites as ExcelForum slurping newsgroup postings make make web searching difficult by duplicating newsgroup postings to webpages. Google has a search for web pages, a search for (user) Groups, and a search for images, etc.

The sites I am trying to suppress (#suppress)

Use of NOINDEX (#noindex)

Very few of David McRitchie's My Excel Pages [http://www.mvps.org/dmcritchie/excel/excel.htm] are indexed by robots.
But that is changing as I am removing NOINDEX from several web pages a few pages at a time, since Google does a fairly good job at keeping the hits down.  This will have an impact though for those using AltaVista Advanced Web Search you might want to use the Site Collapse option to get the same feature that is defaulted in the Google Advanced Search

Web Searches -- Interference (#interference)

Web searches are being destroyed by certain practices

There are some things that concern me since I have a websites for various topics, use newsgroups, and wish to also search websites and search newsgroups.  Things were simpler when there were just websites in HTML and newsgroups and you could search on either as you saw fit.

But now the lines are becoming very unclear, if you try to search websites, your searches are becoming worthless:

  1. You get newsgroup material because some websites put a hundred threads/postings on a page so you get hits and it is not at all what you are looking for, because you pick up a word from one thread and another word from another thread, more to the point it is a repeat of what you would search for in newsgroups.  Searching on newsgroup would produce better results -- IF you wanted to search newsgroups, that is.
  2. Blogs are the latest thing blurring the lines.  Some blogs are essentially webpages with a specific problem and an answer. Other blogs are what one would be expect a blog to be many dissimilar thoughts for a day.  Some blogs I would specifically want in trying to solve a problem most I would want to eliminate. Some blogs are essentially bulletin boards type comments which means even more blurring of what is wanted or not wanted.
  3. Pages of organized links, similar to dmoz.org (Open Directory), and possibly taken from dmoz.org or modified from dmoz.org, but they are being included merely to get hits on gambling pages, or on a personal loan pages, strictly for advertising -- they have no interest whatsoever in your content, except that it generate hits in some manner.
  4. Search Engine News Journal What Yahoo Search Wants in its Index
So besides whatever steps Google will eventually have to take to arrange search hits into a meaningful order I think the above gives a little more choice on what is wanted when searching for Excel articles on the web.

Search Engine Preferences (#preferences)

Google Preferences

Just found this As of March 25, 2004, AltaVista no longer uses its own database [Review of AltaVista]


This page was introduced on July 25, 2004.
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