The internet is a cornerstone of our everyday life. It’s where we go for our most burning questions such as what to eat for dinner, where to go on vacation, how to house train a dog, and more! From the lighthearted moments to information that’s crucial for work, there’s so much the internet can teach us. But the trick is knowing how to find it. Since there’s so much on the internet, you sometimes have to put a little extra work into unearthing the answers to your most pressing inquiries. Here’s how to find what you’re looking for online!
Use Purposeful Words
When you’re choosing what phrases to search, it’s important to remember that nouns are the most important. Hopefully, you remember from school that nouns are people, places, things, or ideas. You should be using strong nouns rather than weak ones with a lot of modifiers, and you should avoid generic words like “a” and “an” whenever possible.
You also may want to change your wording to avoid accidentally eliminating search results that could actually help you. For example, use nouns in their singular form rather than their floral. Generally, you’ll also want to omit suffixes likes “ed” and “ing” to get the most relevant searches.
Use Punctuation and Symbols to Your Advantage
As a general rule, unless you’re using punctuation to help you narrow your results you shouldn’t be using it in your search engine. Most of the time, your search engine will ignore punctuation. That being said, punctuation is appropriate if you’re using it with purpose.
You may already know how to use the minus sign to narrow down your search results. The minus sign will exclude results containing certain words. For example, maybe you’re looking for a recipe for chocolate chip cookies but you don’t have any butter on hand. You could try searching “chocolate chip cookie recipe -butter” to narrow down the results.
If you want the results to show exactly what you’ve searched for in a particular order, put the words inside quotation marks (“”). Often, Google users do this for names. If you’re looking for Mark L. Walberg, you might want to put the search in quotes as to not get the results confused with actor Mark Wahlberg whose name is very similar.
One of the lesser-known ways to use symbols to your advantage is with asterisks. This is a great way to find songs, quotes, or slogans if you can recall some words but not others. Simply add your asterisk (*) as a placeholder for the worlds you aren’t sure about. For example, you could try searching “see that girl watch that * * the dancing queen” to find the famous Abba song.
You can also narrow down results using an ellipsis (…) especially if you are shopping. After typing in a product like a black dress, simply type in a price minimum followed by an ellipsis and then a price maximum. You can use the ellipsis to search for any range of numbers such as years for car models.
Leverage the Power of Social Media
Social media isn’t just a way to engage with loved ones, acquaintances, or even your favorite brands. It’s also a great way to make sure you are getting the most up-to-date info on a topic. If have a question and type it into a search engine, there’s a good chance you’re getting out-of-date articles. This is especially true if you want information on something that is happening in real-time such as a developing news story or even something simple like your Google Drive not working.
Facebook and especially Twitter are great resources for finding out what’s happening right now. Type whatever you’re looking for info about into the search bar of the social platform. On Twitter, you can sort results by “latest.” On Facebook, you’ll want to narrow down the results to posts and then sort them by date. This will give you the most current bits of information.
Search Within a Website Faster
If you know you want information from a specific website, there’s no need to search for the website and navigate to the home page before searching. You can simply start your search with “site:” followed by the domain name of the site you’re looking for. So, for example, you could search “site: youtube.com coldplay” to be instantly directed to Coldplay’s channel and music videos rather than having to wade through other search results first.
This tip for finding information online is especially helpful because certain websites can be hard to navigate and you may not immediately see the search bar. You can also use this trick with top-level domains. So, for example, you could type in “site:gov alexandria ocasio-cortez” to get only official government website results on the New York representative.
Find Cached Websites
A website may be taken offline but that doesn’t mean you can no longer access it. There are a few ways you can do this. The first is to search for the website. Find the result you want then click on the three dots that reveal “about this result.” Click on the cached version. Another common way to find cached sites is simply but entering “cache:” before the URL you are looking for.
Try a Different Search Engine
If the first search engine you try doesn’t provide the results you want, move on to a different search engine. Most people begin with Google. Even though Google is the standard—and has a wealth of information—it’s definitely not perfect. No search engine is. You may want to try a different search engine like Yahoo or Bing, but there are also many lesser-known search engines that could have the results you’re looking for, including:
How Nomad Makes It Easy to Find What You’re Looking for Online
With all of these tips for finding information online in mind, you should have an easier time quickly locating what you need when you need it. However, if you have slow internet, even the best search strategies won’t lead you to find the info quickly. That’s why you’ll want to make sure you have a speed that matches your need for finding information fast.
Nomad Internet offers fast internet plans for our customers, so no matter where you might be, you can rely on your internet. Browse our plans to get searching the internet at a quicker speed today!