There are times when I can find what I am looking for via Google search instantly. Then there are times I feel I’m floundering in a sea of information with no life raft in sight. Like any program or website, there are tricks and tips to help you get the results you want in the shortest amount of time. Here are some great tips for getting the most out of your Google searches:
Tip #1: Think like a website and try using words a website would use. Instead of Googling “why is my computer running slow” try “computer speed issues.” Why does this matter? Google matches the words in your search to the words appearing in pages on the Internet. “Computer speed issues” is mostly likely a term instructional web pages would use, so using that phrase will help you zero in on the type of information you want.
Tip #2: Trying using a colon (:) when looking for specific articles related to specific people. Let’s say you remember seeing a great article by Seth Godin in the New York Times, but can’t recall the title. Googling Seth Godin: nytimes.com brings up results for Mr. Godin based on what he has written specifically in the New York Times.
Tip#3: Let’s say you’re not sure what the word “cache” means. Instead of typing just the word cache into the search box, try typing; what is cache. By adding the phrase “what is” in front of a word, it automatically brings up the definition of the word.
Tip #4: Want to make sure you are using a phrase or title properly? To double check, do a Google search for it this way: The *-Second Commute.” The asterisk basically says; fill in the blanks for me. The search results will fill in the missing word for you to get the result you were looking for, i.e. “The 2-Second Commute.”
Tip#5: Narrow down your Google searches with an exact phrase or word put into quotes. Example: “Audrey Press.” By typing a word or phrase in quotation marks, it brings up the exact phrase in the search results with no other words in-between them. This cuts down on all the random and irrelevant search results containing only the word “Audrey” and the word “Press.”
Tip #6: You’re doing research for an article about book publishing, and you’d like to know all the terms associated with it. Search book publishing~glossary. The tilde and the word glossary helps bring up a list of terms, dictionaries, glossaries and terminology all related to the topic of book publishing.
Tip #7: After discovering what you needed for book publishing~glossary, you decide you’d like to take it a step further and investigate specific articles with that phrase in the subject line. Trying typing in insubject, colon, and the word or phrase in quotation marks so it looks like this; insubject: “book publishing.” This brings up many articles with the word or phrase in the subject line or title for your review.
Do you have any tricks or tips you use that help you achieve the results you want with more precision when doing a Google search? Let us know if you do so we can add them to our list!