If you're like me, then you probably use Google multiple times on a daily basis. Whether you're searching for cinema listings, train times or information on a certain product, Google is a fantastic tool to use.
However, there are a few tips and tricks to using Google which can make your searches significantly more effective that you may not be aware of.
Here, we run through 9 top tips for making the most of Google's extensive search capabilities.
Web History offers you a log of websites you've visited, a timeline of your actions and the ability to search your own online history. Great for those times when you can't quite remember what it was you were looking at the other day. If you have a Gmail account you can try it out at: www.google.com/history.
No matter what you're looking for, it's always important to keep it simple. Start by entering a basic name or word. If you're looking for a place or product in a specific location, enter the name along with the town or zip code. The simpler the search, the more results you'll get.
This is a very handy feature. Google's spell checker automatically defaults to the most common spelling of a given word, whether or not you spell it correctly, so there's no need to focus too hard on the whole "i before e except after c" issue. However, bear in mind that the most common spelling of a word may not be the one you want to search for.
Use web friendly words
A search engine works by matching the words you enter to pages on the web, so using words that are most likely to appear on pages will yield the best results. For example, instead of saying "pay using a phone", say "mobile payment" because that's the term a technology website would use.
Less is more
One or two word search terms will usually give you the broadest results and will more than likely cover what you're searching for. Start with short search terms, then refine your results by adding more words if that extra bit of detail is required. Generally, the longer your search, the fewer results you'll get and the more specific they will be.
Search with an exact phrase
Put quotation marks around words, e.g "wearable technology," to search for that exact phrase in that exact order. Keep in mind that searching with quotes might exclude relevant results. For instance, a search for "Apple watch" will miss pages that refer to Apple smartwatch.
Use descriptive words
The more unique the word, the more likely you are to get relevant results. So, "Samsung tablet" is probably better than "Samsung product," which is much more vague. But remember, even if the word has the correct meaning, if it's not the one most people use, it may not match the pages you need.
Don't worry about cases
Google search isn't case sensitive so there's no need to worry about whether that word should start with a capital letter or not. A search for "itproportal" is the same as a search for "ITProPortal," which will save you time in the long run.
Punctuation is overrated
Search ignores punctuation so, as with capital letters, you don't need to fret about the small stuff. This includes @#%^*()= and other special characters.