Web search is now an integral part of any academic research.Thanks to the search giant Google, researching has never been so easy. Perusing books and library files just to get one piece of information used to take a good part of our precious time. Today however, Google search gives us access to more than enough information we would ever need.
But are we making full use of what Google has to offer? According to a recent study, fewer than 30% of people can actually search the web effectively and find the information they are looking for. Here are some ways I’ve discovered along the way that has made my search not only easy but more efficient.
1. Want to find out what something means?
Just type “Define: the word” in Google search and in a second, you’re given a listing of the word’s many definitions.
2. Want to look for the source of a piece of information?
Go to the site www.who.is where you can find details about the source of information you may wish to verify. Details include your source’s location, when it was established or published, and the IP address.
3. Want to find the exact word you’re looking for in a whole article?
When searching the web or reading a document or even a web page, use the most important time-saving keyboard shortcut [Control+F] and type in your search term.This will highlight all instances of the word or phrase you are searching for within the current page. Reading through pages of a single article looking for your key word is not only time-consuming. It can also be a total waste if what you find in the end is not what you needed after all.
4. Want to find out what other sites are saying about your current search?
Do a Google search and simply type in “site: nameofwebsite.com (your search term)” without quotes, for example “site:wehaveastory.org apps”. This will search that specific website for the posts that mention the term you’re currently searching for.
5. Want to compute something with the least effort?
Again on the search tool, just type in “2,000 pesos to dollars”, “500 euros to Philippine pesos”, “150 pounds to kilograms” or whatever it is you need to convert.Google search is also smart enough to solve mathematical equations like 8+53-(25/(5*7)). Google functions are endless.
6. Want to get other ideas on your search?
When you type your key word or phrase in the search box, Google offers other suggestions related to your search. This function can be very helpful in finding the right word for your search. It can also bring up other ideas you wouldn’t have thought of but could otherwise be useful in your search.
7. Want to find out more about your key word or phrase?
Under the search box, there is a list of some very useful tools such as “images”, “videos”, “news”, “books”, discussions”, etc. All of these bring you to other platforms (depending on your preference) that are related to your search. There are other links you may also find useful such as timeline, dictionary, related searches, blogs, and many others.
I may have missed out on other ways Google search can help you. But the ones listed here are not only useful. They also help you make use of your time more efficiently.