For those who don't use them every day, search engines can sometimes be a frustrating mess. Ostensibly, it doesn't take much to use a search engine. Type "www.google.com" into your browser and get crackin'. But sometimes your specific searches come up empty, leaving you unable to find what you came online looking for in the first place.

In the interest of helping some of those more inexperienced in the ways of true search, we at lifeBLUE decided to put together a brief primer on some of the basic ways you can improve your time navigating the search engines and more easily find the information you need. And, of course, if you're interested in improving your company's standing among the search engines, make sure to check out our SEO services.

Here are a just few helpful hints and basic facts. Seeing as we're big St. Louis Cardinals fans here at lifeBLUE, we'll use the keywords "baseball" and "Cardinals" as examples:

The Basics

-If you type in Baseball - you will get any web page that features the word baseball.

- Baseball and Cardinals - will give you pages that have baseball and Cardinals.

- Baseball or Cardinals - will give you pages that only have baseball with no mention of Cardinals or Cardinals with no mention of baseball.

- Baseball – Cardinals - this will give you a baseball pages devoid of the word Cardinals (Make sure when typing this into Google that the space is between the first word and the minus, since the first word is what you want to keep in your search).

- Baseball + Cardinals - this is the same as using the word "and" in the search.

-'Baseball Cardinals' - this will provide results that only feature the words Baseball Cardinals consecutively. This is good when you're looking for a specific company, name or other item.

Restrictive Searches-define: Baseball - this will give you the definition of baseball.-phonebook: wang IL- will give you the listing for Wang in Illinois.-bphonebook: wang IL- will give you the listings for businesses named Wang in Illinois.-inurl: baseball - this one is pretty cool. This will give you a return of all sites that include baseball somewhere in the site's URL.-allinurl: Baseball Cardinals - this will give you a search that uses all the words you typed after the colon in the URL.-related: lifeBLUE.com - gives a return on sites that are related to lifeBLUE.com-info: lifeBLUE.com - provides all information available about the website.-link: lifeBLUE.com - provides other sites that are linked to this website.

And those are just a few. There are dozens upon dozens of little tricks and devices you can use to amp up your Google searches. Here's one last little trick for you. Did you know that Google is also a calculator?

Try it. Type in an addition problem in the search bar and hit search. Or ask it how many quarts are in 17 gallons (search "quarts in 17 gallons"). Google will generate the answer, without fail. Truly, it is all things to all people, the official one-stop shop of the Internet. Sounds like another American empire we know and love...

Now we just need the G-folks to figure out a way for us to simultaneously buy a toilet brush, some bananas and an oil change online.