5 TIPS TO IMPROVE HOW YOU SEARCH ONLINE
Digital Wellness - Bits & Bytes
There are more than 2 trillion Google searches every year! That’s trillion with a “t”. To put it in perspective, that works out to more than 5 billion searches every day, 228 million every hour, 4 million every minute, and 63 thousand searches every second.
While there are many search engines, Google is the one that is most frequently used (more than 90% of searches online happen on Google). So with all of us searching for information on Google as often as we are, it’s worth learning a few tips and tricks to make your searches more effective.
USE "QUOTATION" MARKS
Searching for a phrase in quotations will yield only pages with the same words in the same order as what’s in the quotes. It’s one of the most vital search tips, especially useful if you’re trying to find results containing a specific phrase.
Ex. if you want to look up someone named John Ferguson, and you type it in quotations (“John Ferguson”) you’ll only get results that have John Ferguson in that same order (i.e. it will omit all results that have the word John and/or the word Ferguson just anywhere on the website).
don't include your answer
People sometimes bake the expected answer right into their search query. So it’s better to ask, “What is the average length of an octopus?” rather than “Is the average length of an octopus 21 inches?"
Why? You may, indeed, see search results "confirming" 21 inches. But is that really the correct answer? Maybe other sources got it wrong. “You’re leading the witness” when you include the answer in a search query, thus biasing the results.
use voice search
Do you know how to spell “hors d'oeuvres” or “pneumonia”? If you didn’t know that those spellings began with a silent “h” or “p,” respectively, you can say them out loud using voice search – across devices, including your desktop or laptop computer, by clicking or tapping the microphone icon in the search field.
The search results Google gives you will almost certainly reveal the correct spelling. You can also type in something close to how you think a word is spelled. If you type – “nimonia," for instance – Google will often surface the correct spelling.
word order matters
Something to be careful about is the order of words in your search. Depending on the order you choose, you may see significantly different results.
Leave common terms in the correct order. Typing “blue sky” will yield very different results from “sky blue”.
keep it simple
Google search knows how to search for a lot of things. So you don’t need to be too specific. If you need a pizza place nearby, simply search for "pizza places nearby". Google search will grab your location and deliver a variety of results about pizza places that are near you.
You should also pay attention as you type as Google will have a handful of similar searches for you to select from. Say you want to learn more about the Vancouver Aquarium Centre. Start typing in those words and you’ll notice after you type "Vancouver Aq" one of you top similar searches you can click on is "Vancouver Aquarium Centre".
Google is a very powerful search tool. Using the tips outlined above, will save you time and improve the accuracy of your results. Whether it’s planning your vacation, finding the latest stock prices, or looking up song lyrics, there is a way to make Google search work for you.
Below are some additional articles and resources if you want to learn more about effective online searching:
20 Google Search Tips to Use Google More Efficiently from Lifehack
How to Search on Google from Google Search Help
23 Google Search Tips You'll Want to Learn from PC Magazine