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This article provides an overview of BelieveTheSign's search featureto find information.

BelieveTheSign search

Put your keyword in the searchbox at the top right of the page.

  • Go - (or Enter on keyboard), will take you automatically to the article.
  • Search - will return a list of articles that contain the term you are looking for.

Effective searching

Here are few good tips and hints for using the BelieveTheSign search feature effectively:

Limiting results

  • Any word: BelieveTheSign's default search mode will turn up results with any of the words in your query. For instance,
 serpent seed

will turn up results containing only "serpent" but not "seed" or only "seed" but not "serpent" in addition to the ones you probably wanted, which contain both words.

  • All words: To limit to results that include all words, put a "+" at the beginning of each word:
 +serpent +seed

returns only pages containing both words, like Google's default mode. You can also do a phrase search by enclosing words in quotes:

 "serpent seed"

turns up a smaller set of results, which not only have both words but have them in order.

  • Exclude words: To exclude results that include some words, put a "-" at the beginning:
 serpent -seed 
  • Boolean search is also possible, using words including "AND", "OR", and "NOT".

Avoid short and common words

If your search terms include a common "stop word" (such as "the", "one", "your", "more", "right", "while", "when", "who", "which", "such", "every", "about") it may give a large number of non-relevant results. BelieveTheSign's index does not use "stop words", so any word can be successfully used in search queries.


You can use some limited wildcards if you really want to. Look up "fulltext search" on and look down under 'boolean search' for the details. However, wildcard searches are slower, so go easy on our poor server.

Words in single quotes

If a word appears in an article with single quotes, you can only find it if you search for the word with single quotes. This should not occur often as we have tried to exclude this from the site.

An apostrophe is identical to a single quote, therefore Mu'ammar can be found searching for exactly that (and not otherwise). A word with apostrophe s is an exception in that it can be found also searching for the word without the apostrophe and the s.

Delay in updating the search index

Very recent changes in the website may not always immediately be taken into account in searches.

External search engines

External search engines such as Google will provide search capability of BelieveTheSign within a few weeks of the public release of the site.