HOW TO BE A SU­PER

GOOGLE SEARCHER

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - DIY SPECIAL -

Google is pretty easy to use, no doubt. When you want to find

out some­thing about the pur­ple bird that you saw at Lo­tus Pond in Hy­der­abad, you just type a Google query like [pur­ple wa­ter bird Lo­tus Pond] and—voila!—there you go, you’ve found the Pur­ple Moorhen. If you Google the bird’s name [Pur­ple Moorhen ], you can learn its sci­en­tific Latin name ( Por­phyrio por­phyrio), that their range is from In­dia to Aus­tralia and Africa, and that the state of Florida in the US is try­ing to

erad­i­cate their ac­ci­den­tally in­tro­duced pop­u­la­tion. But it’s worth know­ing that most Google searchers can, with just a bit

more inside in­for­ma­tion, be­come re­ally su­per searchers. Daniel M Rus­sell of Search Qual­ity and User Ex­pe­ri­ence,

Google Inc, tells you how: SEARCH US­ING YOUR OWN WORDS Be­hind the sim­plic­ity of Google search is a com­plex set of al­go­rithms that ex­pands and im­proves the query you’ve typed to find the best re­sults. Au­to­matic spell­ing cor­rec­tion ([vy­nal] to “vinyl”) and sub­sti­tut­ing syn­onyms (match­ing [pic­tures] to “pho­tos”) are just two ex­am­ples of the im­prove­ments we make. Google can also un­der­stand local id­iom: if you try search­ing for a ‘slab’ in the US, you’ll find re­sults for con­crete con­struc­tion so­lu­tions. But in In­dia, the third re­sult is for in­come tax! FIND A WORD ON THE PAGE: If you are us­ing In­ter­net Ex­plorer, just look for the Edit menu at the top of the In­ter­net win­dow. Click on it and you’ll see the sub­menu item la­belled “Find”. If you click on that, you’ll see a small win­dow that lets you search for any word on the page. Just do Cn­trl + F on other browsers. LEARN ABOUT THE DIF­FER­ENT GOOGLE SEARCH PROP­ER­TIES. Did you know that Google also lets you search through the col­lected news ar­chives go­ing back to the mid-1800s? And you can use Google to search for scanned copies of books and mag­a­zines ( books.Google.com), fi­nan­cial in­for­ma­tion about com­pa­nies you care about ( www.Google.com/fi­nance), schol­arly ar­ti­cles from sci­en­tific jour­nals and con­fer­ences ( www.Google.com/scholar), and blogs ( blogsearch.Google.com). Plus, Google Trans­late can translit­er­ate words from English to Hindi and back (Urdu is in al­pha, with other In­dic lan­guages on the way). You can also use this ser­vice to trans­late en­tire doc­u­ments or web pages to and from dif­fer­ent lan­guages. ( www.trans­late.google.co.in) USE SHORT, SIM­PLE QUERIES: A com­mon mis­take be­gin­ner searchers make is to use too many words in their query. A poor query is one that uses too many words that aren’t re­ally rel­e­vant to the topic. All those ex­tra words ac­tu­ally de­crease the ac­cu­racy of the search re­sults. Keep your search queries crisp and to the point. USE THE AD­VANCED SEARCH OP­TIONS. All of the Google search prop­er­ties have an “Ad­vanced Search” fea­ture for searchers who want a lit­tle more con­trol over their searches. Click on the gear icon at the top right of the screen and select “Ad­vanced Search.” You’ll find Ad­vanced Search for reg­u­lar web search, im­age search, map search and so on. With Ad­vanced Search you can eas­ily search for web pages that are only in a par­tic­u­lar lan­guage, or that come from a par­tic­u­lar site. USE DE­FINE: Of all the ad­vanced fea­tures in Google, DE­FINE: is prob­a­bly one of the best for ad­vanced searchers to use to ed­u­cate them­selves about a com­plex world. DE­FINE: searches for def­i­ni­tions of terms (or phrases) as they’re ac­tu­ally used in writ­ing that’s found on the web. For ex­am­ple, you might think you know what an “OLED” is, but by do­ing the Google query [DE­FINE: OLED] you can find out for sure. This is not dic­tionary-based and as new words and phrases en­ter the lan­guage, Google picks them up. SEARCH WITH AN IM­AGE: A pic­ture is worth a thou­sand words, but did you also know it can lead you to the page you need? You can search both im­ages from the web or your own pho­tos. There are three ways to search by im­age from im­ages.google.com — copy and paste the URL of an im­age from the web, upload an im­age stored on your com­puter, or drag and drop an im­age into the search box. USE CON­TEXT SEARCH TERMS JU­DI­CIOUSLY: Of­ten search­ing for a par­tic­u­lar kind of re­sult will be hid­den in the midst of many other web pages on that topic. In this case, you should con­sider adding a “con­text” term to your search query that de­scribes the kind of re­sult you’d like to see. For ex­am­ple, if you’re try­ing to quickly learn about a new tech­nol­ogy or area, it’s some­times dif­fi­cult to find ma­te­ri­als at a level ap­pro­pri­ate for the be­gin­ner. In such a case, what you’d re­ally like to see is back­ground ma­te­rial, or per­haps a tu­to­rial. Need to learn about su­per­con­duc­tor tech­nol­ogy quickly? Use a search that in­cludes a con­text term such as “tu­to­rial.” [su­per­con­duc­tor tech­nol­ogy tu­to­rial] is an ex­cel­lent search that will bring tu­to­ri­als on this topic to the top of your search re­sults page.

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