The internet is an amazing resource that provides quick access to all sorts of information. The amount of information, however, is so vast that being able to find what you are looking for is a daunting task. Search engines are the answer. Our favorite search engine is Google because it does an remarkable job of listing relevant search results.
Although Google is powerful and easy to use, here are some tips you can use to get the best results:
- Don't get stuck on one search term or phrase; if your first search does not give you the type of results you are looking for, try different words or different phrases.
- Putting quotation marks around a phrase in the search box requires all resulting pages to include that exact phrase to be located somewhere on the page.
- Keep in mind that most search engines work with AND as the default operator; this means that any words you enter in the search box must exist on the resulting pages (unless you put a hyphen before a word - see following tip)
- Including a hyphen before a word means that pages that include that word will be omitted from the search results. So if you search for: wise -geek, you will be given pages that include the word 'wise' but exclude the word 'geek'
- The order of the words you enter into the search box affects results, so try to enter the most important word first.
- Case is generally irrelevant for searches, so searching for wisegeek or wiseGEEK will provide identical results.
- If you enter dictionary words, your search terms are listed in the bar below the search box on the results page, and clicking on the word sends you to the definition of the word itself.
- You can enter math equations such as 27/3 and Google will provide the answer.
- You can enter a unit conversion such as 33 Celsius in Fahrenheit and Google will provide the answer.
Perhaps the best tip to getting the most out of the internet, is to realize that it is there and to realize the breadth of information that is available. Before the rise of the internet, people were used to going on with their lives without plenty of relevant information. You would go to the movies without knowing where you could find parking, or you would have a discussion about India without knowing the population. Once you realize that there are answers to virtually any question you could possibly have, you can start thinking about the gaps in your knowledge and using the internet to fill them. You can start to focus on the things you don't know about a particular subject, and instead of proceeding with ignorance, you can learn and explore.