Effective Searching

The internet is like an ocean of knowledge. With Billions of WebPages. The internet has brought about the revolution that men of old prayed to see. Back then, it took at least six months for a new book to be released but now the web is updated every 6 seconds (using old stats).

But with this vast ocean of knowledge, how can I find what I’m looking for? I can’t just be guessing URLs right? That’s where search engines come in. But the thing is that a lot of people have the wrong ideas about search engines and most of the time can’t find what they are looking for. I remember when I was in school; some of us did crazy things like typing stuff like this into search engines

“Where can I find documents on Simultaneous Equations” or “What are the similarities between simple and compound interest” and my personal favourite, “Where can I download yahoo messenger”

It never occurred to us that the search engine isn’t a person! It’s almost like we had this idea of someone sitting in a cubicle somewhere just waiting for us to type something and then quickly replies.

However in some cases, thanks to search engineers, we actually got what we were looking for. But in many cases we wouldn’t find what we wanted and then would have to scroll to the bottom and sometimes go to the next page looking for something.

So I’ve decided to give you some nice tips that will make you a good online detective (Laughing). So here we go.

  1. Keywords – Search Engines use keywords which are the words we type to know exactly where and how to search. This means that you don’t need to ‘speak English’ as long as you use keywords, you are more likely to get the desired results e.g. “Natalie Tran YouTube” or “Blog Tech Genius”
  2. Trim Redundant Words – Try as much as possible to use nouns. Don’t use words like AND, OR, THE e.t.c this only helps to ‘confuse’ the search engine and make it more strict during its search. Also, be careful before you use common terms like “Free”, “Download”, “Software” e.t.c
  3. Keyword Order – Many search engines use the order in which you type the keywords to determine the priority that it gives to the keywords. So “Visual Studio Free Download”, “Download Visual Studio for Free” and “Free Visual Studio Download” are certainly not the same.
  4. Use Phrases – Phrases are good because they tell the search engine to search documents exactly as you stated it. To use phrases, simply put the phrase in quotation marks
  5. Use few keywords – I recommend you use a maximum of 8 keywords. Anything above that and you will most likely be lost. If you can limit yourself to five cool.

And finally, Learn about your favourite search engine. Search engines are not the same and as such have different inner workings. Try to learn more about your favourite search engine. Chances are that they have specialized ways to ‘query’ the search engine. In other words uses a simplified code to tell it exactly how you want it to search. For example you might want to search a particular domain group e.g. “.co.uk”, “.com.ng” and so on. You might also want it to search but omit certain words and many other cool things as well.

Practice

Hey, why don’t you try this fun game I like to play where you search for the beginning of a sentence and then make the search engine complete it for you e.g. “John is a” or “Why is it that “. you are bound to find something new or interesting. I know.. Something must be really wrong with me. (Laughing) But just try it out

BENEFITS

I know someone will go like… “I don’t need this I’ve always gotten what I wanted right?” My answer is well… not really. Searching the way you’ve been doing it (referring to my examples above) only puts you at the mercy of the search engines ‘discretion’. This means you are less likely to stumble across what you want let alone something interesting. I can boldly say that I’ve learnt a lot by searching efficiently searching the web. I have even stumbled upon so many interesting things that changed me while searching. There’s an entire universe out there. You just need the right means of transportation.

Update: Just saw this video from Google on how search works. Its the same for other search engines.

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About Ody

Web Developer/Programmer and Hardcore Gamer. Mainly interested in the Web and Web Technologies

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