Have you ever run into a virtual wall when searching for information on the Internet? With billions of websites online, finding good, relevant information online can sometimes be akin to finding a needle in a haystack.
But take heart! Here are 5 little-known secrets that will help you find what you are looking for in no time at all.
1. Use the “Advanced Search” tool. Almost all search engines have an "advanced search" tool that will provide you with more options for filtering information and websites. This will help you narrow down your search and eliminate irrelevant, off-topic websites.
2. Search with a phrase in quotations. Putting quotations around a phrase will tell the search engine to look for that exact phrase or name instead of each individual word. Leaving the quotations off, gives you info pertaining to your search in general because the search engine will look up the words separately.
3. Use synonyms. If your search does not produce the results you want, try synonyms. For example, a dog is also a pet, canine, mutt, pooch, and man’s best friend. Use your Microsoft Word thesaurus tool or Merriam-Webster Online to find synonyms for your search term.
4. Use your search engine’s categories. Many search engines offer specialized areas such as news, video, audio, pictures, local, and shopping related categories. If you know you are looking for a picture, choose the appropriate category and your chances of finding what you want increase significantly.
5. Use a plus sign. This trick will allow you to narrow down a larger category. If you were looking for a roadside café in Atlanta, you would type in “roadside café + Atlanta”. This will allow you to search on a specific set of keywords that might not be strung together in one phrase as mentioned in tip #2. This also works in reverse with a minus (-) sign.