If there is one invention that deserves gratitude and utmost appreciation from everybody, it is probably the search engine; most notably, Google. Undoubtedly, it’s a tool that encapsulates the very essence of the concept of Leverage. It’s an all-in-one solution for practical problems, supernatural mysteries, and academic conundrums; it’s a virtual Genie that fills your hunger for knowledge in a snap of a finger. Or in one click, that is!
Using Google does not require anybody to have a Master’s degree in IT or Computer Science. All you have to do is to type a word or phrase into the Google search query and voila, a smorgasbord of relevant answers will appear on the search results pages. But you can operate beyond the standard functionality of the search engine. With the right inside information, you can be a Google Super Searcher beyond comparison.
But before we demystify the workings of Google, did you know that behind the minimalistic user interface of Google search is an intricate web of links, and sets of algorithms that improve and widen the query you’ve typed to find the best results over the web? Since a Google search is exclusively composed of words and phrases, Google is designed to interpret a great number of linguistic phenomena like misspellings, local idioms, colloquialisms, and synonyms. Geo-specific searches also accurately generate peculiar answers.
And what is more astonishing is that in the advent of portable technology, we do not access Google exclusively on our PCs and laptops. We can already have the benefits of Google on our smartphones!
So here are some of the tips on using the power of Google:
Know the different Google Search properties. Did you know that the search engine can grant you access to an aggregate of news archives dating back to mid-1800s? You can also use it to search for scanned copies of books and magazines, financial information about companies, scholarly articles from journals, conferences, and blogs. It can also translate a multitude of foreign languages for you. In fact, you can translate one complete document into the language you prefer.
Be brief in your query. It’s a common notion that in order to get an accurate response from Google, you should make a specific search, thereby making the search query structure longer. This doesn’t work with Google. Truth is, the longer it is, the poorer the accuracy will be. Adding too many unnecessary words like conjunctions (and, or, for) and prepositions (in, on, at) reduces the chance of arriving at a more relevant and precise answer. Be straightforward and make your queries short.
Exploit the Advanced Search Options. For the searcher who wants to have a little more control in his searches, he can use the ‘Advanced Search’ option by clicking on the gear icon at the top right of the screen and select, well, ‘Advanced Search.’ With it, you can easily search the web for pages that are in a certain language, or on a certain site.
Define it. Only want the definition of stuff? You can use the ‘define’ option for definition of terms and phrases. Do the Google query [DEFINE: POLLINATION] and the results pages will only churn out searches that give definition to the term you are looking for. Do not worry: Google will not only give you the denotative meanings of the word/phrases as its database is not heavily dependent on dictionaries alone. New definitions come and surprisingly, Google picks them up and stashes them in its servers.
Search an image. As far as we know, Google can only read text and not images. But this doesn’t stop Google from indexing images. Last time I heard, Google reads the alt texts on the file name of the image and reads any ‘text’ that is on the image. There are ways to search by image from images.google.com: You can copy the uniform resource locator (URL) of the image from the web, upload an image from the hard drive of your PC, or drag and drop an image into the search box.
Learn Pragmatics. Use it. Do not approach this with anxiety and utter trepidation. You see, searching can be a little bit difficult if the keyword you are using is a general term for thousands, or possibly millions, of accurate and relevant search results. The best practice here that is worth heeding is by cautiously using the search terms in ‘contexts.’ Take for example, if you want to sell an old phone, your query mustn’t be just ‘phone’ as the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) will show you a very, very wide array of results that talk about phones; whereas if you type ‘sell an old phone,’ the search will narrow down. Of course, the more specific it is, the narrower the selection will be. Say if you type ‘sell an old phone at cash for smartphones’ or ‘sell an old phone in Nevada.'
These are just some of the cool tips that you can use to max out the power of Google! From now on, be a Google Super Searcher using your smartphone!