I spent this past weekend [tag]googling[/tag] for [tag]yarn shops[/tag] on the internet. Do you know how many shops have a presence on the web? The result of this search was 1,280,000 hits – almost 1.3 million pages that mentioned “yarn shop” somewhere on a page or in their meta tags.

YIKES I don’t have time to visit that many websites!

In the results of this search, many hits were [tag]yarn manufacturers[/tag] whose sites I wanted to remove from my search. I further refined this search using the advanced features of [tag]google[/tag]. I asked to perform a search that had “yarn shop” mentioned, return pages that had been updated in the past three months, did not contain adult sites, and was written in English. This advanced search returned 294,000 hits. Do you have time to look at all these sites? Sensory overload!

If you followed my steps to this point, you could further search in the results for other criteria, such as location, or specific yarns. Now this is a long way to perform the search, but this is an easy way for most individuals to refine their criteria. Others may want to use a boolen search, which is more convoluted, or a newer method called [tag]Search Engine Math[/tag]. This method has you use the plus sign (+) or a minus (-) sign to fine tune your search.

I used this method to remove any store that mentioned supplies and patterns. This result netted me 144,000 hits. I live in Michigan so I decided to add Michigan to the search and the result was 12,900 hits that mentioned Michigan on their site. Still a hefty amount of pages to look through, but a little more manageable.

Who am I kidding? Need to fine tune the search again and look for stores that sell wool. Ah, now I am down to 361 hits. THAT is better! This result I can bookmark and spend time looking for that special yarn.

This is not a perfect method, many pages slip through the critera and may contain other information such as a list of guilds or a yarn manufacturer listing the stores that sell their yarn. For the most part though, this will help you fine tune your search for material and supplies without spending time clicking on 1.3 million pages.

By Laura Nixon




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