There is more to “Google-ing it” than meets the eye…

Google is a super powerful tool to look for information, but have you ever been frustrated trying to find an answer? “Google” has become a verb in every day language. Google is synonymous with fast and easy online answer-seeking, and yet for many of us, trying to find the exact answers we need is a serious challenge.

There is a near endless amount of information online today and sifting through all that data to find the information you seek can take a little bit of skill…Maybe even some Google-Fu.

Here are three easy ways to become a more effective and efficient answer seeker – without a lot of time or effort.

Tip 1 – Use Tabs

Modern browsers have embedded search (usually Google) right in the address bar, so no need to browse to the Google home page. Your browser will automatically take you right to Google. When your results appear, make use of the tabs that display underneath the Google search bar to start narrowing down your results.

These tabs include All, News, Images, Videos, Shopping, Maps, and more. Use these tabs to streamline your search based on the information you’re trying to hunt down. If, for example, you’re looking to buy a new laptop, you might first want to stay under the All tab to check out a few reviews on the model or brand you’re interested in. Once you’re satisfied you know which laptop you want, head back to your Google results and click the Shopping tab. Now, the results will show where you can order or pick up your new laptop.

If your search is focused on something more analytical than practical, use the Tools tab to narrow your results even further. There is a surprising amount of fine-tuning you can do directly from the main Google search and search results page, with minimal effort.

Tip 2 – Use Advanced Search

One way to get to Advanced Search is right from the Settings tab. Another is from the Google home page under Settings, which is found in the lower right-hand corner of the page. Advanced Search is a fantastic resource when you need to find a very specific answer or piece of information or want to be extra sure that your results are as accurate as possible.

On the left-hand side of the Advanced Search screen, you’ll see a series of options listed under “Find pages with…” that don’t require punctuation or specific variables to generate results. These options include “all these words”, “this exact word or phrase”, “any of these words”, “none of these words”, and “numbers ranging from”. Each option includes examples of how best to make use of that particular search parameter.

The second series of options, listed under “Then narrow your results by…”, include options such as “language”, “region”, “last update”, “site or domain”, “terms appearing”, “safe search”, and “file type”. Again, each option includes examples of how best to make use of that particular search parameter to the right of the search fields.

Filling in one, several, or all of these fields will help you to trim the fat from your searches, giving you results based on specific criteria instead of those based on keywords, traffic, or SEO-based search rankings.

Tip 3 – Use Quick Answers

Many of us phrase our Google searches as a question out of habit, but depending on what you’re looking for, that might actually be the perfect way to use this search engine.

It’s easy to get quick answers right from the search bar. Enter a math equation, and get a scientific calculator. Need a conversion? Use the conversion calculator. Or ask a more generic question, such as local weather. The key is to save yourself an extra step by asking Google to show you what you want to know, instead of asking it to point you towards a site that will help you find what you want to know.

Instead of searching for “online calculator” or “equation help”, just type the equation directly into the search bar, and Google will automatically run the calculation for you and display the results in an online calculator directly at the top of the search results page.

The same goes for conversions. If you’re trying to figure out how many grams are equal to a specific measurement in ounces, instead of asking Google to find you an online conversion tool, just type your conversion into the search bar. Once again, Google will automatically figure the answer out for you and display the results in a conversion tool at the top of the search results page.

Google defaults to your current location when providing search results of any kind, which can add an extra step when you’re looking for information relevant to elsewhere – especially if you have your location services turned off to conserve your data usage. If you’re in Chicago for business, you can just type “weather in chicago” into the search bar, and the current forecast information will display at the top of the search results page.

This also works if you’re heading to Chicago later in the day, or even the following day. Even though your browser knows you’re not in Chicago, it will still display the information you want based on this very simple search question.

Google is an incredibly versatile and powerful search engine. Getting more out of your searches is as simple as letting Google do what Google does best by making use of the simple tools it offers.

Want to learn more about how you can increase your basic technology know-how? Give Triada Networks a call at 201-297-7778 or email us at today.