I have been doing a lot of research for my soon to be released video series, Get Connected™. This reminded me of something a client said to me recently, about how frustrating it was for her to keep pulling up such outdated content, when searching for anything on Google.
I was surprised since with the right technique and using the features that Google provides, you can sift through search results to get you the best results in minutes. Hidden Features in Google Search, shares some little known facts about Google search engine results.
The internet can be a gold mine for anyone doing research. Much like you would browse the shelves of your local library (do they still exist?) you can access information on virtually any topic!
However, unlike the library where you have the trusted librarian and his assistants to provide the guidance you might need, searching on the internet can prove to be a daunting task. The challenge then, is how to effectively and efficiently access the most relevant content from the vast amount of information at your fingertips.
Remember that search engines are powerful tools that index millions of websites. Some return results based on titles while others do it based on the full text. Google uses both methods.
Before I get to the “hidden features” here are a few pointers.
The first thing to consider before you begin your search, is how to define the question – what do you want answered with your search? You can usually type the question in its entirety to get the best results. However, if your question uses common words and phrases, you will want to refine your request, using these two tips:
Add a Plus Sign (+) – adding a plus sign before each word in a phrase
Using an Asterisk (*) to include all variations of a word.
Once you have received the answer to your question(s) in the search result, here are five things to ask yourself:
- Is the information verifiable ( especially if it quotes “facts”)
- Is the publisher reputable?
- Are there any obvious biases?
- What are the copyright considerations?
- How recently was the information published?
The last item above, “how recently was the information published” takes us to the core of this article: little known google search features that can improve your results!
Although these features might be located in different places in different browsers, they work the same. Once you have pulled up your results, you can filter them using the following filters:
- Everything (default)
- Date range - the most important to get the most recent information
Where to find the filters in your browser:
Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari: the filters appear in a list down the left side, once your search results are displayed. At the bottom of the list, click on “Show Search Tools” then select the date range that you wish to use.
Internet Explorer: some of the filters appear at the top and any not listed can be seen by clicking on the Advanced Search link.
You can learn more about using Google Search here.
Happy searching and to your online success!