Three Tips and Tricks to become a better Web Searcher

Whether you’re trying to find the name of a catchy tune that’s picking at your brain, looking for the latest information on the topics you need to understand, or just looking for a new recipe for dinner, being a good web searcher in today’s workplace is a must. Here are some quick and easy tips and tricks you can use in any search engine to help you turn from casual web search user into a google-fu machine.

Use “context” search terms

When searching for background information on a particular topic, sometimes it’s tempting to exclusively search that term with no additional information for the search engine to use. While that sometimes works, it’s oftentimes more effective to use certain keywords such as “lesson,” “background” or “summary” for more specific and informative results on topics as rudimentary as “Algebra” to more complex questions like repairing devices.

Pay attention to smaller words and their order

Often it’s the little things that mean the most when searching the web. Your results from searching “What’s the Who” vs. “What’s a Who” will lead you down two completely different paths. In addition to considering the words you use, it’s important to also note where you place words in your web search. “Sky Blue” will give you dramatically different results than “Blue Sky,” so choose your words wisely!

Use special symbols for special results

By including certain characters when searching the web, you can narrow down your search in a very specific way. Quotation marks around a phrase ensure that these words appear in every search query. Alternatively, you can also ensure that your search engine adds or removes all results containing a certain word by using a + or – symbol before the word. For example, typing Jim Love [+]/[-]cricket into the search bar will provide search results that either include or exclude cricket from your results. Finally, by including a colon and a site name such as “Bill Gates sites:,”, results from that website only will appear.

By integrating these three search techniques into your everyday web browsing, you’ll be surfing like a pro in no time.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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