Although the sea of information available in the online world goes beyond the wildest imagination, not everyone knows how to find the piece of information they need.
Google, as one of the most powerful search engines on the web, was developed with the purpose to make that database of content searchable and accessible to online users.
All you need to do is type a query in Google and start going through the first results it lists. Is it really that simple?
Everyone Needs Search Techniques
It doesn’t matter whether you are a writer, researcher, student, learner or any other type of online user: you need a proper search strategy if you want to reach Google’s highest potential. If you don’t know how to search properly, you will end up wasting a lot of time looking for the right information.
There are two main reasons to implement the search techniques suggested — saving time and getting better search results.
How to Use Google
As smart and as intelligent as Google is, it cannot read people’s minds (yet!). This search engine gets immediate feature updates and provides them in versions specific to various countries. The version for your country may not support all techniques listed below, which is why we recommend using the standard version of Google.com for ultimate search effectiveness.
If you are automatically directed to Google’s version for your country when you try to reach google.com, the first thing you should do is avoid that by typing www.google.com/ncr.
1. Stick to Simplicity!
You don’t always need to implement complex search techniques in order to find what you’re looking for. Start your quest with one or two relevant keywords and add more important words if you are not satisfied with the search results.
When it comes to Google (and all other search engines for that matter), less is more. For example, instead of typing “who were the best writers of all time,” try going with “best writers” first.
2. Don’t Worry About Spelling
Google is smart and can handle many typos, so you don’t have to waste time going through a dictionary to find proper spelling and think about lowercase or uppercase, special characters and punctuation.
3. Word Order is Important
Clearly, your search is dependent upon the keywords you use. If you choose the search words wisely, you will get more efficient results.
It is important to keep the order of the words in the search phrase accurate, especially when looking for a quote or specific phrase.
4. Search for People
Google is really efficient in providing good results when you search for people on social networks. Instead of searching each social network individually, you can find everything you need at Google.
Simply add a “+” before the profile-name and you’ll get results for Google+ pages and profiles. If you replace the “+” with “#” you’ll get results for Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr and more social networks.
5. Sunrises and Sunsets
Not many people are aware of all benefits Google offers. You can use this search engine to get the sunrise and sunset time for just about any city in the world.
You can use two search formats for this purpose: [sunrise zip-code] and [sunrise place-name]. The search for sunset is same; you just type sunset instead of sunrise.
6. Finding File Types
If you clarify the type of file you are searching for, Google will neglect other files and provide focused results.
This is an example of how you need to type your query: [filetype: PDF free ebooks].
7. Search for a Number Range
If your budget is limited and you want to find results that fit into your plans, then you can use two dots between two numbers and get relevant results.
Here is an example: [laptop $200..$350]. This technique can be applied to other types of search as well, for example: [TV 20..40 inches].
8. Synonym Search
Google has a synonym search feature that not everyone is aware of. This is really useful when you want to expand the search query with similar words without wasting time on individual searches.
To use this feature, you need to use the symbol ̴ (tilde) before the word applicable for synonyms.
9. Specific Site Types
Some sites have more clout than others when it comes to research and information. Google makes it easy to search within a specific type of websites.
Say you want to search only within academic pages, which end “.edu”. You would simply type in [site:edu] and whatever you’d like to search for.
10. Complex Search Queries
Now that you are aware of individual search techniques, you can start combining them in a single, complex search that will save you a significant amount of time.
Here is an example: [filetype:pdf site:gov “birth rate”]
It may take a bit of practice to get used to the new search techniques, but they will turn into a routine in no time. Google has huge potential, so it would be a shame not to use it to your advantage.