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Effective search techniques

February 9, 2011

Written by Jackie Majka
Senior Manager, Customer Support

Do you ever go to a knowledge base or search engine and stare at the screen not sure where to start?

I frequently am doing research on tools like chat software, forums and knowledge bases. Of course entering any one of those terms brings up pages of results on sites such as Google, Bing, Yahoo or Dogpile. So usually I turn to the site’s search help such as this Google article to see how I can narrow the results.

Some of the tips they include for better searches are:

  • Keep it simple
  • Think how the page you are looking for will be written
  • Describe what you need with as few terms as possible
  • Choose descriptive words

The same rules apply when searching knowledge bases, like the Solution Finder on Sage Support Center site (our online Client Portal.) Here are some tips that may help you resolve issues on your own if you choose.

  • Enter key word or words or a phrase to search.
  • Choose descriptive words, the more unique the word is the more likely you are to find specific help.
  • When searching for error messages, try searching for part of the exact message, phrase or a number from the message. Searches are not case sensitive (Medical, medical and MEDICAL will all produce the same results).
  • You can narrow the number of results you get by selecting from the drop-down menus available for specific items such as software type.

These are only a few things to think of when performing searches. We could go into the whole subject of Boolean search logic but that would be a whole other blog article!

So the next time you are out there staring at that screen remember as Joan Baez said, “As long as one keeps searching, the answers come.”

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