Google. As a search engine, a tool for research and a means of finding out the answer to life’s daily little mysteries, it’s difficult to match it. I should know, I’ve been using the search engine since it first began making a significant appearance to the general public. Previous to Google, we had to rely on less than accurate alternatives that quite frankly, were being gamed by people over-using meta-tags and other related information. Ranking well and fairly simply wasn’t prevalent with old school search tools. And no amount of search techniques ever seemed to provide the same kind of result twice. It was amazingly frustrating.
Flash forward to now, search with Google has given us an arsenal of tools we can use in a simple little text box to get the job done without much fanfare. Learning how to search Google effectively, is actually more a matter of proper word combinations, stemming words, using quotes and excluding/including words within a phrase. Now clearly, this is the condenced version and actually making this work, relates to what you are trying to accomplish.
1) Be specific. This means using a key phrase instead of merely relying on a single word for your queries.
2) Watch for Google’s stemming words. So if you’re looking for Windows software, you might want to take note as Windows applications appear in the provided results.
3) Use quotes when needed. While not always appropriate, sometimes using quotes with a phrase will translate into fewer search results that have to be combed through and it will make your life much easier.
4) Either/ Or. When you are unsure of the best way to search for a phrase, trying the subject of the search in quotes separated by OR will give you better results when flying blind in a query.
5) When in doubt, use advanced search. Definitely the easiest way to use Google effectively is to simply choose the Google advanced search option.