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Posted in Online Savvy | February 2014

Online security: Just google it

how to search online
Once upon a time people headed to the library or the nearest set of encyclopedias when they had to do research or wanted to find out more about a particular subject. Today, thanks to the Internet, we literally have the world at our fingertips! In fact, according to WiseGeek, there may be as many as 155 million different websites on the Internet!

So now instead of flipping through old books, you can find out about virtually anything just by flipping on your computer!

The trick is knowing the most effective way to go about conducting a search. With a potential 155 million websites at your disposal, it makes sense to be as succinct and specific as possible. For instance, if you just put “cow” into the Google search engine, you’ll get 48,600,000 hits. By contrast, if you type in “how to milk a Jersey cow” you’ll get 7930—still a lot of pages to work through, but much more manageable than nearly 50,000,000!

Of course Google isn’t the only search engine—there’s also Yahoo!, HotBot , and Lycos, to name a few—but Google tends to be the go-to search engine for many people. In fact it’s so common that “google” has turned into slang for “search for”, as in, “I’m going to google how to milk Jersey cows”.

If Google is your search engine of choice, consider checking out some of the tips compiled by HubSpot that will have you searching like a pro!

  • Exclude words. If you want to search for information about the Titanic, for example, but don’t want your search results cluttered up with information about the movie of the same name, simply put a “- ” in front of the word movie. Your search would look like this: Titanic -movie. You can do this with any word you want to exclude from a search.
  • Search for a specific phrase. If you’re looking for content about Siamese cats, enclose the phrase in double quotations, like this: “Siamese cats”. Searching explicitly for the phrase you’re interested in will help narrow down the search results.
  • Do a site-specific search. If you already know the URL of the website that you want to search through, you can use Google to search the site for the specific term you want to find. Even if the website has its own search function, it can still be useful to go the Google route. All you have to do is use the “” modifier. For example, if you wanted to search for member benefits on the Foresters website, you would type the following into the Google search box: “member benefits”
  • Use Google as a calculator. Not only can you use Google to search for information, you can also use it as calculator instead of trying to find that elusive calculator buried somewhere in your desk drawer. Simply type your expression into the Google search box. For example, 12 x 12

For more tips on how to “Google” things you want to find, visit Google itself at Google Help. For a comprehensive list of search engines, visit The Search Engine List.

410697 CAN/US (04/15)


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