Finding what you need online can be challenging. With so much information at our fingertips, it can be hard to know where to look. Whether you’re searching for a new job, researching a topic for a project or simply looking to brush up on your skills, mastering the art of internet search can help you find what you need without leaving your desk. Here are some tips to level up your search skills.
Learn the lingo
Understanding the lingo used in web searching is important, as it will help you refine and target your searches.
• Truncation – Truncating words enables you to cast a wider net by allowing you to search all possible endings of a word. An asterisk (*) is used to represent missing characters in a word. For example, “educat*” could return results for “education”, “educational” and “educate”.
• Boolean operators – These are words like ‘AND’, ‘OR’ and ‘NOT’ that can be used to refine a search query. For instance, typing “Data Analyst AND London” could return results for data analysts located in London, while “Data Analyst OR London” could return results for either data analysts located in London, or data analysts located elsewhere.
• Wildcards – These are symbols that can be used when a term is not known but can be estimated. The most common wildcards are the question mark (?) and the asterisk (*) which can be used to substitute for one or multiple letters, respectively. Typing “data analys?” could return results for “data analyst” or “data analysis”, while “data analys*” could return results for “data analyst”, “data analysis”, and “data analysts”.
Use advanced search tools
Modern search engines are equipped with powerful search tools to help you refine your search queries.
• Google’s advanced search – Go to google.com/advanced_search to access additional search tools such as date ranges, related terms and word order.
• Google’s search filters – In the results page, there are several filters that you can use to refine your search. This includes filtered by type (images, videos etc.), site or domain, date, language and more.
• Google’s search operators – Google also has its own set of search operators that you can use to refine a search query. Examples of these operators include site: to focus the search on a particular website, intitle: to search the title of a web page, and related: to search for websites related to a particular website.
• Bing’s search operators – Bing has its own set of search operators that you can use to refine your search. Examples of these operators are site: to search a specific website, filetype: to search for files of a certain type (such as PDFs or Word documents), and language: to limit search results to a certain language.
• Yahoo’s advanced search – Yahoo also offers an advanced search page, where you can set search parameters such as language, file type and region.
• Social media search – Many social media networks offer their own search tools. For example, Twitter has its own advanced search page, where you can search for tweets that contain a certain keyword, hashtag or phrase.
Think outside the box
• Search for related terms – Think of related terms that could be associated with the word or phrase that you’re searching for. For example, if you’re searching for “data analysis”, you could also search for “data mining”, “big data”, or “analytics”.
• Search in multiple languages – Try searching in multiple languages to get more results. This is particularly useful if the language you’re researching in is not English.
• Use online resources – Utilize online resources such as Wikipedia and online encyclopedias to get more information about a topic.
• Ask an expert – If you’re looking for a specific answer to a question or topic, try asking an expert. There are many online forums and discussion boards that you can use to ask questions and get answers from experts in their field.
• Get creative with keywords – Try using keywords that are slightly removed from the topic that you are searching for. This will expand the search results to include more relevant information.
• Search for specific file types – If you’re looking for publications such as research papers, reports and PDFs, you can search for specific file types such as PDFs, Word documents or PowerPoint presentations. The search engine will then return only results that are of these file types.
In conclusion, mastering the art of internet search can help you find what you need without leaving your desk. By learning the lingo and using advanced search tools, you can refine and target your searches to get more accurate results. Additionally, thinking outside the box can help you get even more relevant results. With these tips, you can level up your search skills in no time!