Hints on searching the Internet

By CometGlare Sunday, September 7, 2014
LAST UPDATED 10/03/2014

esearching dentists on the Internet is easy; interpretation is trickier.  Here's a quick-start guide.

HINT: I recommend copying and pasting interesting posts and reviews into a separate file, like a Word document. It might be convenient to have a separate file for each dentist.

Use your favorite search engine, such as Google or Bing.

Here’s the basic search, for a dentist Dr. Greatfind:
       Greatfind Costa Rica dentists

Capitalization isn’t important. Neither is word order, though by habit I try to keep "costa rica" together:
       dentists costa rica GREATFIND

It's sometimes helpful to specify "reviews".  This can move patient reviews to the top if there are many results:
       Greatfind Costa Rica dentists reviews

Searching the Topix forums is easy. There are two different Topix threads on Costa Rican dentists, but a single search string covers both.  Here’s the basic search, for our friend Dr. Greatfind. Just add "Topix" into the mix:
       Greatfind Costa Rica dentists topix

Look at the first result listed.  Click the link that says, "More results from www.topix.com".
This will start a new search with the SITE: parameter:
       Greatfind Costa Rica dentists topix site:www.topix.com

You can type the search string in directly, omitting the redundant "topix" term since it's included in the SITE: term:
       Greatfind Costa Rica dentists site:www.topix.com

The search string above also worked when I tested it on Bing today.  Bing shows you the search terms with more context right on the results page, which can be convenient.  The downside is that sometimes the context shown isn't what the poster really wrote.

NOTE: For another interesting idea about searching the Topix board, see Marty2345's post #5996 near p. 289 of the Long Thread.

Don't overlook TripAdvisor.  Spam is immediately removed by the moderators.
       costa rica dentists Greatfind site:www.tripadvisor.com

HINT:  Most dental patients are very happy immediately after their treatment, but it takes time for bad work to become evident.  If you see a testimonial on the Internet from a happy patient posted months or years ago, you might want to try to contact the poster and ask for an update. The results might surprise you.

or more syntax fun, try playing with parentheses and the OR operator.
The following search string looks for all the pages mentioning a CR dentist named Smyth and the various misspellings of his name:
       costa rica (dentist OR dental)  (smith OR smyth OR smithe OR "Great Smiles")

"Great Smiles" is in quotes because it is a fixed phrase: "great" appears immediately before "smiles".
NOTE: The parentheses are required, as is the keyword "OR" which *must* be in all caps.

No matter how you search, you will often need to launch several searches to find all the mentions.


Browse some of Dave's favorite dentists from "THE DENTISTS" menu.

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