Using search engines like Google is an essential part of every internet user’s experience. Finding what you need online requires some knowledge of how search engines work and how to get the results you need. Google is a very intuitive service once you get used to how it works. Here are some tips about getting started, using the correct words, and examining the results.
Keep it Basic
Whenever you type words into Google (this is called a query), the search engine searches the web for sites in which those words occur. It then sorts the results based on relevance to your query. It is good to keep your searches basic. For example, if you are searching for restaurants in Brisbane, you can just type “restaurants Brisbane” into the query box. It might seem more logical to write in the form of a question such as, “What are some restaurants in Brisbane?” However, Google automatically focuses on the main keywords “restaurants” and “Brisbane,” so the rest is not necessary.
Add Keywords to Get Specific Results
If you are looking for more specific information, it is good to start with a broad query such as “restaurants Brisbane,” and then add words that further describe your intended results. For example, if you are looking for Thai restaurants in Brisbane that have obtained favorable reviews, you can add “Thai” and “review” to the query. It would then look something like, “Thai restaurant Brisbane review.” The results would be written reviews for Thai restaurants in Brisbane, and you can read through them to find a suitable choice.
How does a Website Look?
When performing a query, it is good practice to imagine what the intended website might look like. This allows you to use more descriptive words in the query. In the above scenario, it is implied that the searcher is looking for a place to have dinner, specifically a Thai restaurant in Brisbane that has a good reputation. Using the keywords mentioned will obtain good results. However, if the searcher were to type a less descriptive query, the results would be less specific. For example, “places to eat dinner in Brisbane that serve good Thai food” will yield a much wider range of results. This is because the intended website will probably not use phrases like “good Thai food” and “place to eat dinner.” It will most likely use the words “Thai,” “restaurant,” and “review,” which are much more specific.
More Specific Searches
One of the great things about Google is its ability to provide instant information. This feature comes in very handy when looking for very specific data. With one click, Google can tell you things like movie times, sports scores, flight information, stock quotes, dictionary definitions, currency conversions, and zip code information.
Searching for this information implies that the searcher is asking Google a question. Instead of pointing to various websites that may provide answers, Google is equipped to simply provide that answer so you don’t have to read through all the websites. Here are some examples of searches that will yield results based on an implied question.
Query: “movies” + location Example: “movies Brisbane” Result: movie listings and theaters
Query: team name Example: “New York Yankees” Result: team’s record, schedule for next game, and website.
Query: flight information Example: “AA5535” Result: departure and arrival times, flight status
Query: stock abbreviation Example: “ABC” Result: current quote and graph of past quotes
Query: word + “definition” Example: desk definition Result: definition of word from a trusted dictionary
Query: amount + currency to currency Example: 10 AUD to Euro Result: the value of ten dollars in Euro
Query: post code Example “2191” Result: area corresponding to post code and map of the area
- Google Advanced Search: http://www.google.com.au/advanced_search?hl=en
- Google Search Tools: http://www.google.com.au/intl/en/help/features.html
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