Ask Dave Taylor: Tech and Business


How does MSN Search's Search Builder function work?

Dave, I know that you're a fan of Google, but I've been trying to work with MSN Search instead, just to see how they're trying to crack the search nut. It's pretty darn cool, but, of course, their search language is totally different to what Google has. On the other hand, they have this way cool, but confusing 'Search Builder'. Can you step me through how to use Search Builder, please?

You've pegged me. I'm a Google bigot at this point and rarely journey to other seach engines. But your message inspired me to check out MSN Search and find out what they've been working on. And, well, Search Builder is just phenomenally cool!

If you're used to Google's secret search language of site:, intitle: and so on, you already know that search engine queries can be quite a bit more sophisticated than just "find matches to this two word phrase". But knowing what special sequences to use, that's another story.

Kudos to the MSN Search team for solving this problem in an innovative and fun way. When you go to MSN Search, click on...