Google is the most used internet Search Engine (3 billion searches a day), yet most people only use it for very basic search terms and not to its full potential. Here are a few tips to help make your searches better: –
Tell Google What You Need
Google is smart and can understand “conversational searches”, particularly voice searches such as when using a smartphone.
For example, “do I need” searches, “can I” searches, and “how much [any item] do I need” type searches are understood and can help filter to your exact point, no matter how broad it may be.
The ‘tell it what you need’ formula works for a multitude of questions – here are a few more formats to give you the idea: –
• Release dates: [movie/game] release date
• Fast facts: [name of person] death
• Stats: [city] population
Limiting Types of Results
With one additional click, you can tell Google that you only want Images, or Videos, or News, Books and more. Your initial results are presented as a combination of all types – you can see the ALL tab highlighted up at the top. Just click the tab to indicate which result type you’re really looking for and Google will be able to filter things down for you.
Using drop down Filters.
One of the least well known Google search tools is to limit results to sites from a particular country and/or time period. Do a search and at the top of the page where you can select the above tabs, click ‘Tools’ to drop down a second menu. You’ll see the option to limit Country and Time.
2 extra clicks and your search is now limited to your home country and items from a specific period only.
Using Search operators.
Search Operators are instructions to Google to make your search term more specific.
For example, enclosing your search terms in “quotation marks” binds the term together so Google can’t break it up, e.g. “Project Management” will search for those two words exactly as typed, with no substitutions.
You can use OR between words and your searches will not use the usual AND that Google places between them.
Use the term IN to convert between units, e.g. 70 mph in kph or 1lb in grams.
An Asterisk * can be a placeholder that allows you to search similar to largest * in the world or you can put site: before a domain name to search that website, e.g. site:youtube.com [name of video, person, etc.].
There are many more search operators that you can use.
Make sure its Google (or whatever search engine you normally use)
Many computers we see that are infected with viruses or malware, have their internet web browser search engine changed in what’s called a “search engine hijack”. For example during a virus disinfection in Hinckley recently it was discovered that the customer had unwittingly had their search engine changed by an unsrupulous website and their searches were routed through servers which gave biased results.
This ‘hijack’ is normally spotted when you go to your web browser one day and see that the usual search engine looks different – it may have a different name, logo or adverts displayed.
If your search engine has been changed without your knowledge, it may indicate that software has been installed without your express permission and you should scan your system with an effective security software package.
If you would like help with searching, or suspect that you may have unwanted software on your computer, give us a call on 01455 209505.