10 Quick Steps To Becoming A Google Power-User
Whether you use Google, Yahoo, MSN or Dogpile, searching the web can be both rewarding and frustrating. If you don’t have a few tips under your belt, you can waste needless time sorting and sifting through results which are all over the board. Everyone knows that you type words into your search engine and it returns pages upon pages of information about websites containing answers you might be seeking. Unfortunately, if you just type a few words into the search bar, you’re going to receive a jumble of both relevant and irrelevant results.
So how do you pare down your Googles? Let’s take a look at two of the biggest search engines: Google. Now, I’m a Google nut, but I have also used Yahoo from time to time.
Let’s start with the basics on Google. You type in a couple words and viola, pages return with information. You start sifting through.
Tip #1: Get exact results by adding “quotation marks” around your search term
Most people know that if you type in more than one word, for instance, a name, search engines will return every result that contains those two words. I searched first on my name, Judith Brandy. Google brought back every website that had the words, Judith and Brandy in its title or description. It included a liquor site, people who were names Brandy with a different first name and assorted other junk that was irrelavant to my search. I was Googling myself to see where my articles had been placed. So, Brandy DVDs and Videos at Search Extreme, would not help me. Surprisingly, I popped up at the top as an ExpertAuthor on an article site and found out that a couple of my articles had been picked up on some other websites already. This was nice know, but as I scrolled down, I found relevance disappearing before I reached the bottom of page one. So I added the quotations, and viola, a much more narrow, relevant search result was returned. So the addition of quotations was a real plus.
Tip #2: Narrow the results you receive by adding a space followed by a minus signed followed by the words you want to exclude.
For example, say you want to search on Battletar Galactica, but you don’t want to get every website and blog out there. You don’t want to get the original Battlestar Galactica television show from 25 years ago. You want the new, reimaged Battlestar on television now. So you type into the search box “space” (that’s not the word, by the way. You hit the space bar once) and then type a minus “-” sign plus the term you want to exclude like I’ve done below:Search term: Battlestar Galactica -originalThis takes out any website that covers the 1978 original television show, Battlestar Galactica.
Tip #3: Get up-to-date stock quotes without going past the search page.
This is an easy one. Simply type in a stock symbol and it will return the company name, latest price and price chart at the top of the page, plus all relevent websites connected to it below. So I typed in GOOGLE STOCK SYMBOL to get back GOOG, then I typed GOOG into the box and it returned a chart, the open-high-low as well as other website where it can be further researched. Needless to say, Google is doing quite well.
Tip #4: Type in certain questions about people and places and get answers.
Are you interested in the population of Tokyo, Japan? Or New York City? Would you like to know where Edward James Olmos or Joe Flanigan were born? Would you like to know what is "rabbit proof fence"? These are the kinds of questions you can ask Google.
Simply type the following:
“population of Tokyo, Japan” with no quotes and Google returns “Japan — Population: 127,417,244”
“population of New York City” with no quotes and Google returns “New York City — Population: 8 Million”
“birthplace of Edward James Olmos” and Google returns “Edward James Olmos — Place of Birth: East Los Angeles, California, USA”
“birthplace of Joe Flanigan” and Google returns “Joe Flanigan — Place of Birth: Los Angeles, California, USA”
“who is Joe Flanigan” you wonder? Well, type it in and you’ll get an answer. “Joe Flanigan ... has long-running guest roles on numerous television series, including Profiler, First Monday, ...” and a link to where you can find out more.
Try the last one yourself. Type in what is “rabbit proof fence” and Google returns . . .
Tip #5: Find out where an area code or zip code is located quickly and easily.
Ask Google. Type - area code "610" and Google will return this answer - Area Code Look Up and ReferenceListing of the majority of Area Codes throughout the US and the world. ... 610, PA, SE Pennsylvania: Allentown, Reading, 484, 835 ... - no muss, no fuss, just the facts at lightspeed. Tip #6: Get the weather of any place in the world Type “weather plus a location” and Google will return the current weather plus, for places in the United States, four days worth of weather and a few graphic representations in 0.09 seconds. Much faster and easier than surfing over to the weather channel and looking it up. You don’t need the quotation marks, by the way.
Tip #6: Google is a calculator
Type in 25 x 25 and Google will calculate and deliver you the result of 625. Instant calculations online. Divide = / and Multiply = *. Plus and minus are + and -.
Tip #7: Get the local time any place on Earth.
What time is it in Venice, Italy? Now you could surf on over to the World Time Clock, scroll through and find the country, find Italy, find the city of Venice, but why waste time? Simply type in “what time is it in Venice, Italy” and Google will return the correct answer, plus a link to where you can get more information all in 0.26 seconds.
Tip #8: Going to a foreign country? Do current monetary conversions.
Simply key the following into the search box - 23000 yen in US dollars - and Google will return a quick conversion: 23 000 Japanese yen = 196.68197 U.S. dollars. If you’re headed to Asia, this is invaluable and easy.
Tip #9: Check on flights and airports.
Do you want to find out if a flight is delayed or if an airport is having weather problems? Here’s an easy way to find out before you start surfing and calling. Type in the airport number for instance PHL Airport and search. The first link that pops up will take you to the AIRPORT STATUS INFORMATION which is provided by the FAA's Air Traffic Control System Command Center. The status information provided on this site indicates general airport conditions... It also provides a link to a Glossary of Air Traffic Management Terms if you need clarification.
Check on the flight is just as simple. Type the following “United 134” as an example and Google will return Track status of United Airlines flight 134 with links to Travelocity, Track status on Travelocity - Expedia - fboweb.com.
Tip #10: Google tracks Fedex, UPS and USPS packages
If you have a tracking number type it in and Google will return the latest information on your package:
- UPS tracking numbers example search: "1Z9999W99999999999"
- FedEx tracking numbers example search: "999999999999"
- USPS tracking numbers example search: "9999 9999 9999 9999 9999 99"
Google also has a spell checking option which automatically looks at your query and checks to see if everything is spelled right. Did you ever “sort of” know how to spell a famous person’s name? Google's spellchecking is based on the number occurrences of all words on the Internet, so it is able to suggest common spellings for proper nouns (names and places) that might not appear in a standard spell check program or dictionary. You can also use it as a spell checker in a way.
Word Speller: If you type in a word that you kind of know how spell, Google will return “Did you mean: spell aardvark” It’s not a dictionary, but it is a quick way to get words you already have an idea how it’s spelled.
Google has a wealth of other features which I haven’t even touched on yet. I encourage you to click on the I’M FEELING LUCKY which give you results, check out the Advanced Search which gives you many more choices and links, Language Tools which has a small translater with a good number of languages and an option to add yours. There’s even a language called “Bork, bork, bork!” Go find out what it is. It’s all quite interesting and will greatly expand your Google mindset. There is a lot more you can do with Google than the tips I’ve outlined. Check out my website link to their features page for a complete look at Google features. And even though they have a lot of features listed, I keep finding other ways to use Google. I think of this search engine as a creative entity constantly growing.
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