Making the most of Google

Whilst the development of the Google search engine has been pretty stagnant recently it is still my search engine of choice and this week I’ll be telling you how to get the most from it.I’m sure all of you at one stage or another have used Google ( although by just using limited search terms you are restricting the features on offer to you.Please note that the inverted commas are just used for the basis of making this article a little clearer and you wouldn’t type them in to Google.

-The most basic feature is to simply type in your search phrase – ‘herald express click article’ for example which will return a list of pages that contain some or all of those terms.

-If you type a phrase in to Google in between a pair of quotation marks then only pages with that exact phrase will be returned so “herald express” would only return webpages that had the words ‘herald’ and ‘express’ right next to one another

-You can use synonyms of words in a search so for example of you were searching for ‘house’ but also wanted your search results to include the word ‘home’ too then you should do a search for ‘~house’.

-Using two dots between two numbers will cover an entire number range.So, say for example you type in ‘2000..2007’ then Google will return results including the numbers 2000, 2001, 2002 and so on.

-One particularly useful feature I find is the define operator which allows you to look up word definitions directly from the search engine itself.For example, if you type in ‘define:dodecahedron’ then Google will return the definition of the twelve faced shape.

-Google has a relative amount of AI which allows you to find concise answers to questions by just typing them straight in – for example ‘When was Richard Branson born?’ will just return the text ‘Richard Branson – Date Of Birth : 18 July 1950’

-Google includes a useful calculator which can be accessed directly from the search page.Do a search for ‘1+2’ for example and Google will return the answer ‘3’ and whilst this isn’t particularly useful the feature does get a little more advanced.If you type in ‘1lb in stone’ for example then Google will return ‘1 pound = 0.0714 stone’ and likewise ‘$1 in £’ will return ‘US$ = 0.5180 UK£’.

-You are welcome to use wildcard expressions in Google if you forget one particular word of a phrase.This could be particularly helpful for example if I forgot the exact lyrics of the Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick In The Wall’ as I could type in ‘we don’t need * education’ and Google would then return results with that exact phrase but would make the likely substation of the asterisk for the word ‘no’.

One nice feature in my opinion is the ‘personalised home’ page of Google which can be accessed when you’re on the Google homepage.Using this feature I have now added ‘quotes of the day’, ‘BBC News’ and ‘Word of the Day’ to Google so now whenever I open my browser I am given these nuggets of information along with the usual ability to search.



About the Author - Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.