Google Better: Find What You Are Looking For

You think you’re a Google pro, right? After all, you have been using the massively popular search engine for years. What more can there be to learn? A lot, as it turns out. The website How-To Geek and the Atlantic each recently ran stories highlighting ways in which you can better search the Internet with Google. If you desire to find the right information and you want to find it swiftly, you’d do well to follow these tips.

Operators are key

Operators are the keys when you’re searching for specific information with a Google search. Think of operators as being the opposite of overly generic search terms. The How-To Geek site uses the example of a Google user who wants to uncover New York Times stories about test scores in college from 2008 to 2010. This same user, though, doesn’t want to obtain SAT scores. Sounds like a tricky task, but with operators, it isn’t. First, if the user inserts the operator “site:” in front of the words “nytimes.com,” that user will only pull up results from the New York Times. The user may then add quotation marks around the words “test scores” to locate that exact phrase, not each of the words separately. If the user inserts the “-” operator in front of the word “SATs,” the user will eliminate the term “SATs” from the search. The user may then add 2008..2010 to show all results from a given time range. The “..” operator performs this nifty trick.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is another great way to narrow search results. It prompts Google to only search academic and scholarly work, which could be great for research papers. To do this you can use operators. For instance, if you are looking for a paper written by Dr. Breit about the evolution of coding languages, you’d input the operator “author:” in front of “Breit” followed by the phrase “evolution of coding languages” into Google Scholar.

Control F

“Control F” is a way to search within your search results. For example, perhaps you are searching for a new outfit to wear to a holiday party. After searching for “party dress” you can hold control on your keyboard and click “F.” A small search bar will pop up in the top or bottom of your screen and in it you can search your results by typing “pink” or “long” to further narrow your search.

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Posted on: 11.30.12