Searching Smarter

by ShiftUP 15. November 2013 04:35

As someone who spends a very large part of his day searching the internet for work related solutions, I have a few search tips for you!

The technique I probably use the most is the ignore words feature of google.  Say I want to search for a recipe for salsa and I'm having a friend over that isn't a fan of the taste of tomatoes, so I search for salsa recipe -tomato and I find an interesting recipe for avocado corn salsa.  It can also be used in multiples like this -> Imagine you were having a discussion with a friend about this John Wayne movie you were trying to remember.  You make a search for John Wayne movie and you get a slew of results that unfortunately don't ring a bell.  Now you know it wasn't a western, so you search for John Wayne movie -western which certainly vastly reduces the search but some of the top results are still not right so you begin filtering them out John Wayne movie -western -"Jet Pilot" -"Blood Alley" and there it is!  Circus World!

Now you might be wondering why I put the quotes around the two last ignored sections.  It allows you to restrict (or allow) only the combination of the words Blood and Alley vs removing anything with Blood or Alley in it with -Blood -Alley.  An example of the difference is a search for rabbit food versus "rabbit food".  The former might show you recipes for rabbit and the latter is more likely to show you foods you should feed your rabbit.

Another useful capability of google search is calculation and conversion.  I saw an ad from the US for a 12 oz can and I wanted to know how many ml that was - A search for 12 oz to ml results in a google calculation box appearing with my answer!  One of the more frequent questions we hear at the end of a dinner with friends is how much to tip on an amount so what is the tip for $89.14 .  It can even do advanced plotting of graphs with a search like cos(3*x)+sin(x), cos(7*x)+sin(x)

 

Now these are just a few of the ways you can make your internet searching that much more powerful and there are a lot more here - http://www.google.ca/intl/en/insidesearch/tipstricks/

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