How to google R stuff

[This article was first published on R programming – Oscar Baruffa, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers]. (You can report issue about the content on this page here)
Want to share your content on R-bloggers? click here if you have a blog, or here if you don't.

I love a lot about R except that its name is not great for SEO.

When you’re very new to R it can be a bit hard to google solutions to your problems. In learning any new skill or tool it’s difficult to know what to google in the first place. With R, it’s a bit more difficult because the language’s name is just a single letter “R” which google’s indices don’t seem to readily associate with the most awesome language to ever grace this planet ;).

Your first few search attempts probably confirmed this.

There are two simple search techniques to overcome this ambiguity and will help you quickly surface relevant search results.

  1. Append your search with “in R” rather than just “r”. For example, you shouldn’t search for “how to r”, rather try “how to in R” – you’ll get much better results.
  2. Secondly, when you start knowing which package has likely got the solution you’re looking for, use the package name instead of “in R” to get even more relevant results. For example, try “how to in dplyr”, or “how to in ggplot”.

Over time, google seems to start figuring our that you mean “R, the statistical programming language” rather than “R, letter of the day from Sesame Street” but it takes a little while. In any case, searching with the package name included has always given me the best results. If I don’t know the package name that’ll fix my problem, then the first few searches using “in R” quickly surface answers which talk about the package, and then I often redo the search now that I’ve homed in on the relevant one.

I hope that helps. If you want even more help with R, check out the almost 300 free R programming books over at Big Book of R.

Don’t miss any updates, sign up below! I write informative stuff about data, careers and R.

* indicates required

The post How to google R stuff appeared first on Oscar Baruffa.

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: R programming – Oscar Baruffa. offers daily e-mail updates about R news and tutorials about learning R and many other topics. Click here if you're looking to post or find an R/data-science job.
Want to share your content on R-bloggers? click here if you have a blog, or here if you don't.

Never miss an update!
Subscribe to R-bloggers to receive
e-mails with the latest R posts.
(You will not see this message again.)

Click here to close (This popup will not appear again)