Before advanced search engines like Google and Yandex, there were meta search engines like Altavista (acquired by Yahoo later). People was struggling to find out what they are looking for, if they are not looking for the obvious.
Probably you don’t know how to search.
Lets pick Google. If you are the one who:
* Writes website name to Google to go to that website (Example: facebook)
* Writes your question to find a direct answer (Example: I want to go to Chile)
* Thinks that Google employees are answering directly on each search and being polite to get faster/better response like this nanny
* Not using quotes, ‘+’, ‘-‘, ‘~’ signs to deepen your search,
sorry that you do not know how to use Google search.
Here is a video below, illustrating an ordinary user’s usability test.
You can say that “Hey! I’m better than this guy, I can find what I look for, so I know how to search!”
Actually, having sufficient experience through years and billions of searches, they mostly know what you are looking for, therefore you find them in the first pages.
Google is a very powerful search engine, despite not being used in depth by most users.
It provides direct access to following services within the search:
Dictionary : Put define in front of any word to see its definition. (Ex: define bot)
Calculations: You can calculate math equations, like the example below. You can even use factorials, trigonometric and exponential functions. Here is an example below:
Finding Local Time: By typing time prefix before a city name, you can see its local time.
(Example: time istanbul)
Facts: You can search a celebrity, location, movie, team, song to find related information.
Fact data mostly shown on the right of Google search results. (Example: Michael Jordan)
Sunset / Sunrise Time: By adding sunset or sunrise before a city name, you can find out its sunset or sunrise time. It might be useful for people who is fasting.
(Example: sunrise Miami, sunset Miami)
Translate: Without going to Google Translate, you can make your translations right up. By writing “translate” in front of the word and search, Google will translate that word (auto recognize its language) to your language. (Example: translate ballet)
Google translate is not a good translator. Do not use it to make your homeworks! 🙂
How to get more from Google?
There is a nice piece of infographics published in Mashable. Lets use it to make it much clear about how to use Google:
* You can search only a website (if indexed by Google bots) using site: prefix.
If you are not really looking into a website, most probably you won’t use that.
* You can add ~ to indicate that you are looking for the words similar to that. Honestly I’m not using this one as well.
* Using quotes, this means that you are looking exactly the text given in the quotes.
* You can use + or – signs, + to add more words to be searched (not necessary), – to exclude words from search results (using minus sign is very useful).
* putting two dots .. between dates allow to search for given time interval.
* Using filetype: prefix, you can look for results, having specific filetype. For example, if you are looking for a PDF file, using this will save you checking tons of pages.
* I don’t think that you’ll use intitle: prefix, because normally Google already check titles.
* Using asterisk ‘*‘ before a word, provides you results of given common terms.
Considering the search, Google is also able to make search using images. By providing an URL or uploading an image, it’ll try to find out if it is published on somewhere else on the web.
Hope you are using the filter options provided at the search result page. They are very useful if used wisely (for example images: size, color, type, user rights, more).
Also, Google have surprizingly funny things hidden in their search pages.
Here, you can find them out.
There are many other Google services that you can use. In my other article, you can also find out Google services you don’t know they existed. Please share your experiences and feedbacks via comment section.