Knowing how to conduct an efficient and productive search on the Internet is an important skill in the world we live in, but sometimes the results can be frustrating. In part one of this article, we looked at how simple things like a question mark can make a big difference in your results. Now we continue with even more helpful hints.
I mentioned punctuation is ignored, but some punctuation in Google is recognized. (This may be different in other search engines.) Here are some that are recognized.
- + looks for a Google+ page or for blood types (AB+)
- @ looks for social tags
- & looks for connected ideas
- % search for percentage values
- $ indicates prices
- # looks at trending topics from hashtags
A couple other search tools that could be helpful:
If you are searching for information and want results only on a certain site, use the” site:” term. For example, if I want only advanced searching tip results on Worldstart, my search would look like this:
Notice all results come from Worldstart. When using this term, it’s important to note there is not a space after the colon. You can also use this with quotations around a phrase you want to find on a certain site. Alternately, if you do NOT want results from a site, you can use the minus sign in front of site. For example, ” Benjamin Franklin -site:wikipedia.com ” . A search like this will search all sites except wikipedia.com for information on Benjamin Franklin.
Finally, Google can be used as a calculator, a unit converter, and a dictionary very easily. Simply type in your equation and it will pop up the results in a calculator.
Similarly, type in a conversion you would like to see. Notice the arrows by temperature. This is a drop down screen that you can choose what you would like to convert – including length, speed, and mass, among others.
Type in define:term, and a dictionary entry pops up. It’s really that simple.
These tips have often helped me to narrow down my results to exactly what I needed. If you are still not getting what you need, remember to try different words that mean similar things. Or you may want to try using another search engine like Bing to see if there are different, better results. And don’t always rely on the very first results, scroll down, go to another page, or even see if a page that doesn’t give exactly what you need links you to a page that does.