Get More Out of Google

If you’ve walked past a computer in the last 10 years, you’ve heard of Google. It is, by far, the most popular search engine out there. So much so that its name has become a verb for searching the web. We don’t search for things, we ‘google’ things now.

Admittedly, Google’s search engine is impressive. It’s very fast, covers a massive amount of the Web, and it’s as easy to use as can be. Still, do you ever get frustrated because you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for? Here are some tips to help.

Get more out of Google

Use the + and – signs. Putting a plus or minus sign directly in front of a word can make a huge difference. Let’s say you want to find something about the band The Police. Type that in Google, and it’ll be a sea of blue uniforms and cop stuff. Try The Police +band –cops. Google will move results that have ‘band‘ in it to the top of the list. It will also eliminate results that contain the word ‘cops’.

Use quotation marks. If you need to search a very specific phrase, put quotation marks around the whole phrase. Let’s say you want to find out who said, “Lost time is never found again.” Search for that with quotes around it. Google will return results with those words in that exact order. It was Ben Franklin, by the way.

Use a tilde. The tilde is the wavy character on the top left of your key board. It looks like ~. Using this in front of a word will bring back results that are synonyms of the word. Let’s say you’re looking for a cheap laptop. Searching ‘cheap laptop’ will get you a lot of results, but might miss out inexpensive, affordable, and low cost laptops. So try searching for ~cheap laptops instead.

Google can do so much and this is only the beginning. Did you know you can use Google as a calculator? Or to track packages and flights? Or to do conversions between imperial and metric, or even Canadian and American dollars? Just google “Google Tricks” to find out. Happy computing!

Image Credit: Antonio Manfredonio

First Published: The Guysborough Journal, Vol . 22, No. 1, January 6, 2016

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