For many Gen-Y who have grown up with the Internet, searching for something online is second nature. That doesn’t mean, however, that they are all search wizards. In fact they are probably just as effective at finding information as any other employee. What they do know, is how to use Google search to more easily find desired results.
Here are seven tips to help you Google like an expert.
- Exact phrase. If you’re looking for a specific topic, Mobile Internet for example, it’s easier to put the search into quotations i.e., “Mobile Internet”. This will tell Google to return results that match the words.
- Exclude words. When you conduct searches for general information, you’ll often get unwanted results. Let’s say you are looking for marketing information and don’t want results that have the term “sales” in them. Type in Marketing -Sales, and Google will return marketing results without sales. Note: don’t have a space between - and the term you want to exclude.
- Search similar. If you’re looking for a topic and would also like to search for similar words, put a ~ in your search. e.g., “~Business”. Google will return business results as well as results for synonyms.
- Search between dates. To find results for something over a period of time put the dates separated by “..” (two periods) e.g., “1999 ..2012”
- Wildcard search. A wildcard is used to substitute a word in your search. Google has designated * as the wild card. When you enter a wildcard, Google will essentially fill in the blank.
- Define:. For words you don’t know the meaning of, you can have the definition comeback as the number one result by entering “define: word”.
- Think like a website. It’s best to not ask questions when you’re searching for something. Rather, look for the results. If have back pain and enter, “My back hurts. What’s a good pain reliever?” You’ll find the result, but it may take a few pages of searching. You should instead enter: “Back pain reliever”.