Google Search Hacks
(for the true creepers and information-seekers of the world)
One of my greatest skills happens to be searching for information on Google. I am going to share my knowledge with you all, mostly because I know multiple people that don’t know how to search for information online and partly because this is an assignment for one of my classes at Ryerson (it’s a great class — Digital Skills and Innovation for the Global Economy). Also, I use Google Chrome as a browser. It’s my favourite.
Before the days of iPhones and apps like Shazam, when I enjoyed a song and wanted to listen to it again, I had to remember lyrics from it and then go home and try to find the song online with those lyrics. If you only remember two words by the time you get home, you have to get creative to find the song.
While searching for stock photos to put on the website of the company that I work for, I have to get creative. There are only so many ways that you can say “diverse family of four having fun at home”.
In doing activities like the above, as well as being a 22 year-old who obviously creeps people from time to time, and has written my fair-share of essays, I have gotten quite good at searching for information on Google.
Here are 3 tips to make your Google searching a bit easier:
1. Type in exactly what you’re looking for.
My boyfriend tends to take a lot longer to find things on Google than I do (bless his heart). He will search “centipede” and I will search “are centipedes dangerous and how can I get rid of them” and get the right answer first.
Maybe a bad example… but I tend to search the exact question that’s in my head. Google is a very large search engine packed with information from millions of websites all around the world. Your answer is always out there. You just need to be specific and direct. Chances are, someone else has searched the same thing — no matter how ridiculous it is.
2. Use keywords when searching.
Having trouble finding some very specific information on the World Wide Web? Focus on exactly what you’re searching for and select your keywords. Sometimes step 1 doesn’t work when it’s not an often searched or discussed topic. In that case, select your keywords and search those.
In the digital world, a keyword is used to help organize content on website pages. Images, videos, website pages, titles, and text all have keyword tags inserted into their metadata. An image of an elephant has a keyword inserted into its metadata coding that says “elephant” — so that when you search for an elephant, all images and websites that contain that keyword will come up.
Remember to stick to your keywords. If they don’t work, use an online thesaurus to find similar meaning terms and try searching with those.
3. “Related:” Websites
One helpful trick that I’ve learned from my essay-writing days (although I’m still in them) is to use a website URL to search for information. If you’ve found a website with information that you’re looking for but need more sources, type “related:” into your Google search bar, and paste the URL of the website beside it. Google will search for related topics and that way, you won’t need to think about any keywords at all!
Example: You’re looking at a website with pictures of puppies. But there just aren’t enough puppies. Copy the URL, and type/paste this into Google’s search bar:
I promise you that you’ll see puppies for days after doing that.
Thank you for reading. Now go try to Google something ridiculously specific and see how you do!