7 secrets to finding “relevant” information online

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Bob Milliken
Bob Milliken

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. Take heart!

Here are 7 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. For example, if you were looking for a chocolate cake recipe, type “chocolate cake recipe” in the search window with the quotes around it. If you left the quotations off, you might get recipes for other cakes or chocolate candy in general because the search engine will look up the words separately: chocolate cake recipe
  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 Microsoft Word’s thesaurus to help find the right search term.
  4. Use a plus or minus sign – This trick will allow you to narrow down a larger category. If you were looking for a roadside café in Online inormationVancouver, you would type in “roadside café + Vancouver”. 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. Use a minus sign to do the opposite “roadside café – Vancouver”
  5. Just search the domain name – If you know the website you want but can’t seem to find the information you are looking for, you can tell the search engine to search for a specific keyword or phrase within that site. Simply enter the search term you are looking for followed by the word “site” and a colon, and then by the domain name. For example “spam filter update site:www.microsoft.com”.
  6. Eliminate inappropriate content – To eliminate adult sites clogging your search results, simply activate your favorite web browser’s adult filter settings.
  7. Use your search engine’s categories – Many search engines offer specialized areas such as news, video, audio, pictures, local, and shopping related categories. Choosing the appropriate category will increase your chances of finding what you want significantly.

Take Away …

These 7 little-known secrets are extremely useful helping you find what you are looking for.  If you would like to become an expert using these – and many more – tools, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!

Bob Milliken is the TheITguy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com specializing in helping businesses with their IT needs. Discover how great local IT services can be.  604.270.1730.