Making the most of your google searches

Each year more words get added to the dictionary, but when it comes to terms which are truly synonymous with the 21st century, then ‘Google it’ is surely at the top of the figurative search results.

Whenever we are out of answers, we turn to the all seeing, all knowing, six letter soothsayer which holds the answers to all of life’s questions. However, like most things, it can be improved. All it takes is a few little tweaks and browser customisation, and you can get much better search results, halving the time you spend looking for websites.

Google is by far the most popular website on the internet. When combined with all the other various search engines used by people around the world, it is overwhelmingly the most used category of site on the internet. While facing stiff competition from social networking sites such as Facebook, search engines remain the number one source of computer user’s online browsing time.

One problem with Google is that some of the most popular search terms are Facebook, Google and Twitter. One explanation for this is that since most people either have Google as their homepage or have a Google toolbar installed in their browser, inherent laziness or confusion has led them to give up on using the address bar of their explorer altogether, instead just ‘googling’ every site they wish to visit, including Google. This can unfortunately compromise the accuracy of real Google searches.

When it comes to searching Google correctly, it pays to be specific. Firstly, ensure that your spelling and grammar are correct. Secondly, try not to focus too much on complete sentences, though sometimes they do help. But the best thing to ‘Google’ is keywords which you think will be relevant to the website for which you are searching. If you are looking for ‘athlete’s foot cures’, then writing ‘looking for something to cure athlete’s foot on my foot and ankle’ will just muddle up the search and give you a bunch of pages which are mostly irrelevant. A strong, concise search is best for quickly finding the page for which you are looking.

Another handy tip is shelving the mouse. Google works best if you rely on keyboard shortcuts. Without even touching your mouse, you can access the address bar by typing either Ctrl-L or using the F6 key. If you start typing the main word from your address, your browser will begin displaying addresses which match, making it easy to select the site you want using the arrow keys and pressing ‘enter’. This auto-suggestion feature is available on all browsers, reduces your reliance on the mouse and decreases your risk of RSI.

Google is a very efficient search engine tool, when harnessed effectively, so ensure to follow these rules for hassle free browsing and enjoy the information superhighway!

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