Make Your Search Work For You
Nearly everyone these days has heard the term “Google it” or “look it up.” For most of us, searching for something online is just a part of our daily routine now.
However, are you really searching as quickly and efficiently as you could be?
Here are several search tips to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.
- Google ignores case, punctuation, and most small, common words such as about, for, the, and what. It also searches for all variations of the words you type. If you need to search for a specific phrase, you can put it in quotation marks. For example: “to be, or not to be”
- If you notice something that isn’t what you’re looking for is cluttering up the search results, you can exclude that topic by placing a dash in front of the word or phrase like so: seahawk -seattle
- You can search within a range of numbers or dates by putting two periods in-between them. If you just have a year, two periods, and no ending date, then searching will return all results from that year onwards. For example: Detroit Red Wings 2003..2005 or Detroit Red Wings 2003..
- By typing “OR” between two words, you can search for multiple things at once.
- Search results can be limited to a specific website by adding “site:” before it. For example: “battery life” site:apple.com
- You can also look for specific types of files by typing “filetype:”. For example: CPR guidelines filetype:pdf
The tips above are known as “search operators” and are the same across many browsers and search engines now.
More Google Goodies
Google has continued to expand beyond those over the past two decades. As a result, their search engine is now packed with tons of useful features, such as the following:
- Typing “weather ” will bring up accurate weather information and a forecast for that area
- Typing “Define ” will instantly provide you with several clear definitions
- Google will perform currency and unit conversions right in the search window. For example: “1 lb in grams” (453.592 grams)
- Entering a tracking number will show you the shipping information for that package
- Typing “ip address” will show you your IP address. This can be quite useful when a technician is helping you over the phone.
- Entering a flight name and number will show you its exact departure and arrival times, including whether it is delayed.
- You can enter basic math problems into the search bar and it will give you the answer. Type + for addition, – for subtraction, * for multiplication, and / for division. However, for advanced equations you may want to head over to www.wolframalpha.com instead.
(Image Source: iCLIPART)