You think you’re a Google pro, right? After all, you’ve been using the hugely popular search engine for years. What more can there be to learn? A whole lot, actually. 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
If you are trying to find very specific information through a Google search, operators are the most useful way to find what you are looking for. The example that the How-To Geek site used is as follows. Say a user wishes to find stories only published by the New York Times concerning college test scores. That is very specific and feels like it would take a lot of digging. Not if you utilize operators. By inserting the operator “site:” in front of the words “nytimes.com,” Google will only search in that site. Then by adding quotation marks around exact phrases they are looking for, in this case “test scores,” Google will search for that specific phrase only. If the user wishes to add a date range, they can add 2008..2010 and it will narrow the search further.
Google Scholar is another great way to narrow search results. It asks Google to only search academic and scholarly work, which would 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” is a great little trick to help you narrow your search results. For instance, if you are searching for recipes for a theme dinner party, like the 4th of July, but you are most interested in desserts, you can search for 4th of July recipes. After completing your search you can hold down control and hit “F” on your keyboard. This will make a little search bar appear at the top or bottom of your computer screen. Then by typing in desserts, it will narrow the current search results down highlighting all the desserts!