There is nothing more annoying than having to spend time trying to find something online. The Internet is huge, you know it’s there, you know Google has spent lots of time trying to get the best results to the top of your results pages, but guess what—it’s just not happening. Whether it be because you had a coffee free day that morning or just don’t feel like being on Google any longer, we’ve all been there. Unfortunately, most companies just don’t care.
What many annoyed employees don’t know, however, is that there are things you can do to help make you Internet searching more successful and less tedious. By putting a focus on becoming a great Internet searcher, you can get back to social networking and chatting with your friends. I mean…doing all the other work your employer just sent your inbox.
Top 5 Tips and Tricks to Help Improve Your Internet Searching Abilities
There are tons of little tricks that you can use when working with Google. For example, you can use the search bar as a calculator, quickly find lyrics to a song, movies playing in your area, and look up flight information without ever having to visit the airline’s website. However, there are actually quite a few tricks that are less popular but probably more useful to the average cubicle-working employee. A few of these tricks include:
1. Remove certain websites from your search results.
Oftentimes you will know exactly what type of website will have the answer to your question. Maybe you only want your results to be from blogs, or maybe you’re not interested in seeing anything from Wikipedia. If this is the case, you simply type “-site:” and then the website that you don’t want showing up in your results. For example, if you were searching for SEO services but didn’t want anything from Wikipedia, you would type in “SEO services-site:Wikipedia.org.”
2. Search for something within the same website.
It’s common to go all the way to a website and then search for something in that website’s search bar, but you can actually do this right from the Google search page. Simply type in your search and then “site:” and then the website where you want to search within. This works great if the website you’re working with either doesn’t have a search bar (yes, many still don’t have a search bar!) or if their search results pages are confusing. You can bypass all of this by just knowing how to search with Google.
3. Once you found a good website, search for similar websites.
Many employees find that they can find one good website, but only one. This might have almost everything you need, but you still need more information. This is where search for similar websites comes in handy. Type in “related:” and then the website that you like, and Google will give you similar sites.
4. Get rid of any keywords you don’t want to see in your results.
This trick works well if you want to avoid another meaning of a word or want to avoid paid links. For example, if you were looking up information about “hawks,” the animal, you may want to remove keywords like “Chicago” and “hocky.” This will help you get the results you want faster.
5. Look for sites that were blocked.
Okay, so this tip won’t necessarily help you be a more productive employee, but it will help keep you sane. If your employer has blocked a website from your computer, such as a news website or a comedy site, you can still see it with this little trick: Type in “cache:” and then the site you want to see. Don’t worry, your employer will never know.
When all is said and done, these little tricks will help your day go by quicker and you should be able to get more work done. It will take some time to memorize and master these shortcuts, but once you get the hang of it they are really quite easy.
Do you use any Google shortcuts to help your workday move by faster? Let us know some of your favorites in the comments below!