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SEARCHING ON THE COUNTY OF ALBEMARLE WEBSITE

Many people maintain that searching on any website, but especially a Google-style search, is an ART, not a SCIENCE. As a quick tutorial for anyone who may not be quite familiar with some of the more subtle searching options, here's some search tips to enhance your results. Please note that these suggestions are not limited to just our site, but can be used on any Google-style search site:

1. If you enter a multiple word phrase, i.e.:

Western Albemarle

you will get hits for that exact phrase, but you will also get hits where the word Western AND the word Albemarle are found on the page. If you click on the numbers of pages at the bottom of the results page, all the way to the end, you get approximately 52 pages of results, with 518 distinct entries, not counting those that the Google-style search suppresses: In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 518 already displayed. (message it shows at the end of page 52). However, by simply enclosing the same phrase in quotes (NOT 2 apostrophes), i.e.

"Western Albemarle"

it will ONLY search for that exact phrase, and the results are quite different: only 31 pages, and 303 distinct entries. Obviously these words are very common on our site, but this simple change goes a long way to making the results a lot more manageable. Single words do NOT have to be in quotes, only multiple words that are treated the same as a single word, i.e, as a distinct phrase.

2. To further narrow down your hits, if 303 are still too many, you can also "filter" them. Say that you still want to find "Western Albemarle", but want to exclude references to the High School. To do this, you can "minus" that phrase (note that high school is also in quotes to treat it as a phrase):

"Western Albemarle"   -"high school"

This narrows the hits to 17 pages and only 168 distinct entries, a considerable drop of 135 unrelated/unwanted hits, or a little over half of the 303 hits as a result of the original search.

3. Alternatively, if you MUST have certain words or phrases in the results, you can also "plus" them, either alone or in combination with other filters:

+"western albemarle"   +"high school"   -"rescue squad"

This combination says to search for the first two phrases, both of which MUST be there, but discard any hits that ALSO include the phrase "rescue squad". This variation returns 11 pages and only 107 distinct hits. If this is still too many to deal with, consider adding additional "plus" and/or "minus" filters, separated by a space from each other, until you find what you are seeking. The sequence in which they are entered is not significant, nor are they CaSe SeNsItIvE.

By carefully choosing the words and phrases you enter, you can quickly narrow down a massive amount of hits to something that is far more easily managed, hopefully allowing you to find your information much more quickly.

 
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