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Tip: Site Colon Searches

site colon tip final - crop

Let’s have a quick chat about a great search tool – the “site colon” search.

Have you ever found yourself searching a website for something specific that you just can’t seem to find?  You know it’s there, but the website doesn’t have the best navigation tools?  I definitely have.

Let’s use an example.

Last week I mentioned that I had found some FindAGrave entries outside of the US.  They were fabulous and unexpected finds.  I wanted to quickly search some other cemeteries.  But searching for foreign cemeteries on FindAGrave isn’t very friendly.  This is what you see:

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On the main page you can choose “Search for a cemetery” on the right, top bullet list, second choice down.

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Then you see this search box.  I was searching for cemeteries in Scotland.  I didn’t know the names of the cemeteries, I just wanted to see how many cemeteries there were in specific parishes and counties.  So, I didn’t have a cemetery name to type into that little search box.  I chose Scotland on the “Country” drop down list.

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Then I find myself looking at a very long list that can’t be searched by smaller locale.

At this point I have a few options.  I could waste a whole bunch of time scrolling through that super long list hoping to see the parish names I want.  I could google search cemeteries in specific parishes and counties, come back and enter cemetery names one at a time into the search box.

Or…

I can use a site colon search.

 

In my case, I wanted to see all cemeteries for Carluke, Lanark, Scotland on FindAGrave.

I went to google and typed this:

site:www.findagrave.com carluke, lanark, scotland

 

I’ve just told google to please search the FindAGrave website for Carluke, Lanark, Scotland.  My results look like this:

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Looking at the list quickly, I see that there are two cemeteries for Carluke included on the FindAGrave website.  The Old Carluke Cemetery and the Carluke Wilton Cemetery.  I clicked on the first google result and I am taken right to the search page for the Old Carluke Cemetery on FindAGrave:

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Just what I was looking for in about 15 seconds!

A site colon search can help you quickly find something you need on FindAGrave or any website that you are struggling to navigate.

The formula is simple:

site:www.websitenamehere.com followed by search terms

 

Make sure there are no spaces until after the .com.

 

Give it a try!

 

And let me know if it helps you out.  😉

 

ps – FindAGrave is being overhauled and will have more navigation tools for finding foreign cemeteries.  But for now, a site colon search is a quick shortcut.  It works on most websites, not just FindAGrave.