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Jim's Guide - How to search the forum

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Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:54pm
6 replies186 views5 members subscribed
jimtaylor

jimtaylor

Legendary helpful member

Posts: 3457

Location: Almoradí

4762 helpful posts

Introduction:

The reason for this guide is that the same questions are asked time and time again. I want to encourage people to first have a look on the forum to see if their question has already been asked and answered.

Why do people use Google search? Because they're hoping that someone else has already made the same query that they have, and that the search results will answer their query. It's exactly the same on this, and other, forums. Not only that, but searching yourself saves other members from spending time on having to answer the same question multiple times, or having to do a search themselves and give the questioner a link to the answers.

So, before posting, please try and find an existing answer to your query. I and several others, understandably I think, become irritated that people won't make an effort to find answers for themselves, but instead expect others to do the work for them.

I do concede that nearly all forums have a search facility that is somewhat lacking in ease and effectiveness of use. However, Alex - our IT guru - has done a lot to make searches on this forum more effective than they used to be.

Help topics:

There is a comprehensive help section about how to use the forum itself:

https://www.costablancaforum.com/help/

Guides:

Have a look at the Announcements section of the forum - the top category.

Announcements

In there you will find that many topics have been covered in depth, at the moment by three of us, but hopefully more members will contribute. Car hire by UKHandyMan4Hire; renting out a property by Davebev1; and my own Jim's Guides which cover a multitude of topics.

Searching the forum itself:

At the top right of any forum webpage there are two boxes - for search terms and for location.

Search box:

The search box is where you put what you want to find. Bear in mind that if you put in two or more words then, like Google, the search results will include all results with any one of those words, whereas what you want is results with both of those words.

Fortunately Alex introduced the ability to search for an exact phrase, by enclosing that phrase in quotation marks, e.g. "residency certificate". The initial set of results you get - 'Posts related to your search' - may typically include some posts that don't include your exact phrase, but if you scroll down to the 'All results' section, then you should find what you are looking for there.

There's nothing to stop you adding words in addition to your exact phrase, to try and refine the results.

Location:

This is where you put in the geographical area for which you want to do the search. Just start typing the area, and you'll see a drop-down list of locations. Click on the relevant one and the search will take place. That's fine if you want something specific to an area, like a restaurant etc.

If you've got a general query then you need to search the complete forum. If you just type al; then you're given the choice of 'All the forum' and 'All areas'. Click either of them and the search will happen.

Using Google to search the forum:

I've never yet found a forum with a perfect search facility. I don't know, but I'd guess that this is due to shortcomings of the servers which host the forum websites - it's certainly not due to a lack of willingness by admin. If you can't find what you want on the forum itself, then you can use Google to do the search by confining that search to the forum.

Use Google Advanced Search, as that enables you to more effectively filter the results you get:

https://www.google.co.uk/advanced_search

To confine the search to the forum, in the field for 'site or domain' enter costablancaforum.com.

Then use the other fields to define your search. The second field is where you enter an exact phrase, but you don't need quote marks here. There's nothing to stop you searching for two or more exact phrases, but in that case you'd put the second phrase in the first field and use quote marks around it. Also look at the other fields. For example, you can search for results in the last week or month etc, and you can exclude results that include specific words.

Once you've done the search, you may find that Google has included irrelevant results. In most browser setups, at the top of the search results page, you'll find some options to do some filtering and select only images, videos etc. The most useful is Tools at the right-hand side. Click on that, then click on All results, then click on Verbatim. That further forces Google to show exactly what you searched for.

Please practice a bit. Many people don't know about the advanced search, and finding out how to use it will make your ordinary Googling much more effective.

Final word:

If you can't find what you want, then by all means post a topic on the forum. If you say you've tried a search, then you might get more replies than if it appears you haven't done so. And also bear in mind that every contributor to the forum is a volunteer and isn't obliged to help. If you say 'please' then, again, you're more likely to get a reply.


Dlrsantapola

Dlrsantapola

Helpful member

Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:19pm

Posts: 221

Location: Santa Pola

178 helpful posts

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:19pm

Nice one Jim , good guide, especially the "please" bit at then end !! Let's hope people read this 

Dave 

UKHandyMan4Hire

UKHandyMan4Hire

Helpful member

Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:36pm

Posts: 313

Location: Aspe

233 helpful posts

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:36pm

Thank you for taking the time to put this together Jim, we appreciate it

Kimmy11

Kimmy11

Super helpful member

Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:50pm

Posts: 1341

1508 helpful posts

Posted: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:50pm

Many thanks Jim.  Kxx

Stevec61

Stevec61

Helpful member

Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:42am

Posts: 354

Location: Playa Flamenca

230 helpful posts

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 9:42am

Thanks Jim for yet again taking time out to put something together to help others - who needs google when we’ve got Jimoogle! 

UKHandyMan4Hire

UKHandyMan4Hire

Helpful member

Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:07pm

Posts: 313

Location: Aspe

233 helpful posts

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:07pm

Joogle?

Willy

Willy

Helpful member

Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:17pm

Posts: 300

Location: Benijofar

164 helpful posts

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 5:17pm

Nice one Jim.

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