8 Search Techniques You Can Use Right Now to Find the Best Excel Content On The Internet
You spend a lot of time navigating and searching the internet trying to find high quality Excel content.
I know because I’ve been there and it always seems like it takes longer than it really should to find the exact feature, formula or solution to your Excel problems or questions. Trying to find specific Excel skills that you’re interested in learning can become quite a feat.
I know and you know that there are a lot of great Excel websites out there with tons of information but sometimes it just comes down to getting your searches just right.
In this article I will be reviewing a list of advanced search techniques that you can use to find the best Excel content on the Internet (whether it be through Google or other channels).
The first search technique we are going to look at is of course from Google. This technique is definitely really cool and is a great way to setup and find websites that you’d like to add to your RSS feed for continuous learning. The technique is simple. You use the term “related” followed by a colon, and then you simply include the website address for which you’d like to find similar sites.
Checkout the results you get to the left. You get a gold mine of Excel websites that are similar to Chandoo’s. You can do this with the bigger players and websites that have been around for a while or that have higher page ranking. Keep in mind this may not find results for smaller websites that have not yet reached Google rank maturity.
Google has clearly mastered their game when it comes to online search. In this search tip let’s say you find an amazing article on a particular Excel subject such as “Excel Dashboard Techniques”. If you’d like to find more articles just like it, you can learn and become an expert on the topic by clicking the drop down beside the result and selecting similar.
Once you’ve selected similar, a new list of search results that are similar to the current result will show up and you’ll have the chance to read more on the subject (in our case – Excel dashboard techniques). This search functionality is especially useful when you are on the brink of learning a specific Excel technique but you need to learn just a little bit more. Try it out now.
Another gem of a search technique from Google is the ability to quickly find file types directly from the search engine by simply typing in filetype, colon, the file type name (i.e. in our case XLS) and then type a related search term for a file you’d be looking for. Here’s an example I used to find free Excel dashboard files using the Google search bar:
Once you hit enter you’ll get a list of results, each search result will have a file type in square brackets of [xls] to the left of the result. This is a great way to find Excel sample data sets, Excel dashboards, templates etc… as well as just interesting spreadsheets that you can use to further extend your Excel skills by playing around with the features or the data that you’ve found. Here is an example of what I found using the query above (filetype:xls dashboard). This result was directly from the Excel Dashboard Templates website.
The awesome thing about this is the file actually has instructions and provides you with the ability to try things out on your own.
Clearly I enjoy looking things up on Google, but man do they ever just make things easy. Using the site lookup option, you can easily lookup Excel specific content and return results from a specific website.
This is great when looking at Excel super sites like Chandoo’s where there are thousands upon thousands of pages of Excel content. When using this search feature, I like to put the keyword in quotations (note: quotations will lookup the exact keyword phrase – more information on Google operators).
Once you hit enter you’ll get a list of results and you’ll be shown content that is specific to the keyword you’ve used within the site you’ve requested. In this case I wanted to find content specific to slicers in Excel coming from chandoo.org. You’ll notice in the screen shot to the left / above that all of the results are related to excel slicers coming only from that specific website.
I’m sure that you can think of more than one useful way to use this technique to help you with your Excel learning.
#5 – Use Twitter Advanced Search to Find Specific Excel Content (Twitter)
Alright I know that I haven’t covered every single search technique with Google but I think I’ve provided you with the tools to figure it out. Because I’ve covered a lot of the different operators via Google, it won’t take you long to learn the ropes with Twitter search. Twitter has a search page that you’ll want to use to get yourself acquainted so you can become an Excel search master using their software.
Here’s the step by step process that you can follow along with using the screen shot to the left / above:
#1 – Get yourself over to http://twitter.com/search-home.
#2 – Alright now that you’re there, you can learn everything you need to know about operators (much like Google by the way) and you can also used their advanced search section so that you can master your search techniques for Twitter.
#3 – The best part now is you can merge what you’ve learned with operators and apply them to the search bar no matter where you are on Twitter.
Okay, now that I’ve shown you the techniques, let’s go through a quick Excel search example using the twitter search bar.
The results will yield you a list of links where the tweet contains the exact phrase “excel slicers”. Oddly enough it looks like someone has shared some of my YouTube content:
#6 – Use BuzzSumo to Find the Most Shared Excel Content by Keyword (BuzzSumo)
If you’re not a part of the marketing world, there could be a chance that you haven’t heard of this one yet. BuzzSumo is great for marketers especially when it comes to finding content to curate and build round up posts around.
That being said, for us Excel learners, its best use is in being able to find the best content on the web for specific Excel keywords and phrases.
If you are going to use it, I would suggest you sign up. Once you sign up, you will be able to perform searches. Keep in mind that in order to get all of the functionality offered by the software, you’ll need to sign up to the pro version unfortunately.
For your purposes however, using the free version while signed up should get you exactly what you need. For me at least I want to find the best content for certain keywords like “Excel shortcuts”.
Below is the highest rated content for the keyword “Excel shortcuts” and if you’re as interested as I am you can check it out here – 12 Excel Formulas, Features & Keyboard Shortcuts Everyone Should Know.
#7 – Use the Excel Subreddit to Search for Excel Keywords and Topics (Reddit)
The Excel Subreddit contains a ridiculous amount of content that likely contains the results / solutions to all of your Excel questions, concerns or learning requirements for that matter.
If you are curious about anything related to Excel you can use the search functionality that is available in the top right hand corner (or mid screen after you’ve performed a search) of the Excel Subreddit screen and you are likely to find what you are looking for. If not, the beautiful thing about the Excel Subreddit is that you can post any topic or Excel question and it will be answered almost instantaneously.
If you want to find great tips or the best content / posts made on the Subreddit, you can also use the pro tip sections as well as the top posts section.
#8 – Use and Search the Top Excel Forums on the Web for Amazing Content (Excel Forums)
Excel forums are a little bit like Reddit but they are still a stellar tool for searching for as well as getting an answer to one of your Excel questions.
I am going to suggest 3 different Excel forum resources that you can use to either ask questions or simply search the directories for cool Excel stuff:
#1 – Chandoo’s Excel Forum.
#2 – Mr. Excel’s Excel Forum.
#3 – The Ozgrid Excel Forum.
You can use these resources in a couple of different ways.
The first would be by using the search bars (or use the site search operator with Google – see above) within the forum. The second would be to simply navigate and the third option would be to ask and post your Excel questions to have them answered by the community.
A Summary of Excel Content Search Techniques
As you already know, the internet is stuffed with pages upon pages of Excel content (and of course any content you can possible think of).
In order to maximize and find the most useful Excel content on the web, you really need to understand the search techniques that are available to you. In this post I’ve reviewed with you several different techniques that you can use find the best content out there.
I think it’s a great idea to practice, learn and use all of these techniques as well as the operators that are provided by each search type so that you can become a master at finding amazing Excel content.
What search techniques do you use that I might have missed? Make sure to leave a comment letting me know.
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