Google Tips

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Google Tips and Secrets

The Google Web Directory combines Google's search technology with the Netscape Open Directory Project to search the Internet.

  • Sites are ranked based on their importance. Horizontal bars displayed next to each webpage indicate the importance of the page.
  • Google searches all the content of each site within a category, not just the titles and descriptions. This capability allows deeper searching within categories and produces more relevant results than any other directory search.
  • The classification technique allows users one-click access from regular Google search results to the most relevant hand-selected webpages.

  1. Feeling lucky?
    Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" search button automatically returns the highest ranked webpage for a particular search. To use, type a query into the search box and click the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button.

    For example, to find the homepage for the Smithsonian Institute:

    1. Type "Smithsonian Institute" into the search field.
    2. Click the "I'm Feeling Lucky button."

    The result is, the official homepage of the Smithsonian Institute.

  2. Google toolbar

    This is a powerful information search and retrieval companion. It can quickly highlight and jump to selected search terms on any webpage. It can also enable users to search for information on websites that may not have extensive search capabilities.

    Download the Google Toolbar.

  3. Think within the box

    • Find maps: To find US street maps, enter any US street address, including the zip code. (No need to worry about city, state, or commas.)

      For example, type in "2400 Bayshore Parkway 94043" in the Google search box. Google recognizes the query as a map request and returns links to high-quality map providers.

    • Get stock quotes: Use Google to get the latest stocks quotes traded on the NYSE, Nasdaq, or AMEX. Type the company ticker symbol and Google will show relevant stock and mutual fund information from multiple high-quality financial information providers.

  4. Take a shortcut

    Adding Google Browser Buttons to a Web browser toolbar enables access to Google's search technology, without taking up extra screen space.

    • Search the Internet with browser buttons by highlighting a word (or phrase) on any webpage and clicking the Google Search button.
    • The GoogleScout button finds webpages that are similar to the page you're on. For example, clicking the GoogleScout button while on a company's homepage will often show the company's competitors.

    Download the buttons.

  5. Cache and cache can

    Google takes a snapshot of each page it examines as it crawls the Web and stores or caches the snapshot as a backup in case the original page is unavailable. The cached link displays the page exactly as it was indexed.

    The cached content is the content Google uses to determine whether the page is a good match for the query. When the cached page is displayed, it will have a header at the top, which serves as a reminder that this is a cached version of the page and not the page itself.
How do you begin to search the Web efficiently and effectively for the right information? Start with these dos and don'ts for scouring the Web.

  • Do use the most common words that describe your search.
  • Don't be afraid to type in keywords that come to mind.

Here are five tips to maximize your searches with Google.

  1. Try it, you'll like it

    • Do what seems obvious first.
    • Don't be intimidated. Type in single or multiple keywords.
    • Don't bother with advanced search techniques, such as +, -, quotes, and so on, unless the most obvious keywords don't work.

  2. Search for keywords

    • Do provide several keywords that you think will appear in the search result.
    • Don't format a query in the form of a question. For example, if you want to see Internet pages about parachuting safety tips, type in the words "parachuting safety" without including the words "pages" or "about."

  3. Use quotes

    • Do use quotation marks to perform a phrase search. For example, to search for the book Wuthering Heights, use quotation marks around the entire title.

  4. Read all about it

    • Do read the snippets. Most search engines offer summary text with each search result. Google calls the summary text a snippet. The snippets will help you save time and provide an idea of what the webpage is about.
    • Do save time by picking out the best results from there.

  5. Looks like, sounds like

    • Do try the Web Directory to search for a general topic and not a keyword.
    • Do try Similar Pages to find other pages related to your search.
[Thanks Sergey Brin.]


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