When Google Doesn’t Have All The Answers

Searching CharacterGoogle’s search engine contains a vast amount of information. Once in a great while, I get asked a question that I’m unable to answer, so I say “Let me Google that for you.” Yes, there’s a website for that: http://www.lmgtfy.com. However, there are many other tools and tricks that can get you answers to your question when the standard Google search doesn’t have the answer.

First of all, using a couple tricks to alter your Google search can go a long way. If you’re looking for an exact set of words, putting them in quotation marks will give you results that only include those words in that order. Another trick is to put a hyphen before words you’d like to remove from the search, like if you wanted to search for jaguar the animal and not Jaguar the car brand. In that case, you would put “jaguar -cars”. Google lists other symbols that can help narrow down searches here.

As for other websites, Woflram Alpha is a “Computational Knowledge Engine” that is able to crunch big numbers and statistics. This tool can also go as far as estimating your blood alcohol content. It can also help students calculate complex math problems.

The Wayback Machine allows you to see the Internet of the past. Just input a website that you want to view and if it has a screenshot of how the page looked in the past, it will display it. This is perfect for web developers that would like to see revisions of a certain website.

Of course, getting answers from real people always helps. While you’ll still have to follow the rule of not believing everything you read on the Internet, a second opinion can lead you down the right path or open other doors that may answer your question. That’s what Reddit is for. It’s a forum to get unfiltered input from human beings. There are countless forum boards (or subreddits) which cover an enormous amount of topics and they tend to attract like-minded experts in the field you’re looking for.

These are just a few tools you can use. Remember, even if you think you may have a stupid question, don’t let that keep you from looking it up. It’s likely that millions of others have searched the same thing and after all, a search engine can’t judge you.

(Image Source: iCLIPART)