by Gregory West

(published in First Monday magazine, Dec. issue)

Have you noticed lately that it is becoming harder to find what you are searching for on the Internet using Google? Isn’t it totally frustrating when you search for something that should be easy to find and you only find yourself being bogged down with junk finds, crazy stuff that is not even close to what you typed into the search box? You are not alone, although there is an easy method.

Not that long ago, when the Internet was in its initial stages of development, searching was extremely difficult due to the various search engines one would have to use to find the data they were researching. Then along came the White Knight: Google Search.

Ok, here is the scoop. Here are five ways on how to speed up your searches, and zero in for the most relevant search results.

Try these fast tricks by typing the following in Google’s search box: 
For the WEATHER:               sarnia weather
For TIME:                              time moscow
For SPORT SCORES:          detroit red wings
Use a CALCULATOR:           7*3+(sqrt 10)^7=

For more tips and tricks like above, go here: http://tinyurl.com/9k4nd This site is amazing and you will find yourself saying “wow” several times as you test drive this new way of searching using Google Search.

Don’t use words such as “where” and “how”. They tend to slow down your search. Google doesn’t care if you type capital or lower case letters in words. Although, if you must have the “how” or “where” included in your search make sure you put a plus sign (+) directly next to the word such as: +where or +how.

If you want to exclude certain words in a search put a minus sign (-) directly next to the word you do not want to come up in your search results: airlines -westjet. This will stop westjet from appearing with your results.

Looking for an exact phrase or title or maybe even certain text, here is where you should surround your words with quotation marks: “i’ll be home for christmas”. This brings you much closer to your request and leaves out much of the non-relevant data.

Need a review on a computer product, or how to locate Santa? Enter you request like this: review: windows vista or norad: santa. This gives your search precision.

Don’t be afraid to use Google’s “ADVANCE” search either, it will make research that much easier and exact. Watch this video on Google Search tips to hear more on better and easier searches: http://tinyurl.com/yo7az7


Gregory West can be reached at editor@scug.ca. Gregory is the Editor for the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group [SCUG], a non-profit computer help group that is open to the public for Newbies and Geeks. For more information: http://www.scug.ca.


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