Friday, February 25, 2011

Google Search (part 1)

My search adventure
I don’ t know how many times I’ve been asked to look something up for someone. If I had to take a wild guess, it’s because searching with a search engine like Google can be overwhelming, especially if the first page of results have nothing to do with what you are looking for.
So, for part one, I’m going to give a few basic guidelines on how to refine your search so that you get what you are looking for. These tips are for any search engine.

As a matter of fact, the picture above was found using just about every technique I’m about to mention.
First, skim over the first few pages. Sometimes results get buried because of tag abusers (people who put just about every tag imaginable to get hits) and those who just happen to  use the same tag. For instance, my first search was “overwhelmed computer”using the creative commons search engine. However, both computer and overwhelmed both have their own results.

But there was nothing I could use, so the second step is to use synonyms. “Computer” had to stay, but I could change “overwhelmed” and I did to “Stressed”, “stress” (yes, it had different results), and “freaked out”, but still couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for, but some images came close.
Third step is to click on the links that come close, then skim those pages. Sometimes you realize that was what you were looking for in the first place, and sometimes, like I did with the images, you find another key word that you could use. In my case it was “panic”. Unfortunately, the most I could come up with is this recognizable image:
So, “computer panic” and “panic computer” didn’t work out so well.

The last step is to start to get creative, although, usually I find what I want within the first two steps. So I started considering computer lingo. What do people say when they “virtually” panic? How about “OMG”.

So “OMG computer” turned up the image above  - which leads me to the last step:
Be willing to settle. Like the image above, it may not be exactly what you want. I found the above to be quite humorous, unlike the image I was thinking of: a person in front of the computer, looking stressed out.

Part two will be on Google Search Tips at a Glance
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