8 tips for using Google and other search engines

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Finding something you need on the Internet without the help of a good search strategy can be like driving from Boston to Los Angeles without a map. You know the general direction, but there are too many options.

With billions of web pages in cyberspace, you could waste a lot of time – or worse, money, if you get ripped off – searching for what you’re looking for and, in many cases, coming back empty.

If you need help with your research, consider the following tips and tricks to get the most out of Google, the most popular search engine on the planet, with a market share of around 86%. Many of these search suggestions will work for other solutions as well, such as Bing, Yahoo !, DuckDuckGo, Ecosia, and more, but they might take some trial and error.

1. Be specific with What you want to

If a broad search, such as “car classifieds” returns too many results, try more specific words to find what you are looking for: “used car classifieds” Corvette classifieds, “”Used cars in Chicago “or Chicago BMW used car classifieds. “Choose your words carefully to narrow your search and save you time, whichever search engine you use.

2. Use + and

Use a minus sign (-) to exclude words you don’t want to search for. It filters out the things you don’t need. For example, type “pets -cats (without quotes) if you are looking to adopt a pet but have a feline allergy, or “best horror movies” (without quotes) to omit scary movies from your search. Do not put a space between the minus sign and the word you want to omit.

You can also add a plus sign (+) to tell the search engine that specific words should be present in the search results and not display results that don’t. For example, you can enter “

3. Put the key phrases in quotes

Put phrases in quotes to help the search engine find exactly what you are looking for.

If you want to search for a certain sequence of words together, use quotes outside the sentence. An example is the 2021 movie Godzilla vs. Kong. Without quotes at either end of the title, a search engine would independently search for websites that contain the words “Godzilla” and / or “Kong,” in any order.

It works with most search engines including Google, Yahoo! and Bing.

4. Use tabs to specify what you are looking for

Most popular search engines allow you to specify the type of content you are looking for.

After you have searched the web for, say, “vaccination passports” (without quotes), you can click on the tabs at the top of the screen marked for Websites, News, Images, Videos , Shopping, Cards and more. Google and some other search engines also have advanced photo search capabilities.

Save time by clicking on any of these tabs to help you narrow down the options to what you are looking for.

Rosemary S. Bishop