Is to be good at googling a necessary skill today?

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August 20, 2020
Is to be good at googling a necessary skill today?

Is to be good at googling a necessary skill today?

Well as with many things it depends on what you are working with, but how often are you googling after information? Do you find what you are looking for or do you need to ask for help from someone instead?

This thought began with a discussion at the coffee table, one person mentioned that being good at googling should be considered a must have skill today.

After this discussion, I started thinking about how often and quickly I find what I am looking for when I google. What tactics do I use when I google for something and if it works? Well, I usually find what I’m looking for and usually pretty quickly. But I became more interested in the subject and began to investigate more in it. I know a few hacks about googling but learned many new ones when I researched this.

Use the tabs

This is a well-known alternative to using the various tabs and, for example, searching for pictures or news instead. The news archive is extensive and go back to 1880 including news articles all around the globe

Use quotes

When it comes to tactics, the first thing I learned many years ago was to use quotes. Put a phrase in quotation marks. This means that the phrase must be included in your search results.

For instance, if you search for how to install cucumber the engine will search for content that contains those three words in any order.

However, if you search “how to install cucumber”, it will search for that phrase exactly as you typed it. It’s especially useful if you’re trying to find results containing a specific phrase.

Use an asterisk within quotes to specify unknown or variable words

If you are not sure about the exact wording in the quote you want to search for you can use asterisk to specify unknown or variable words.

It’s helpful if you’re trying to determine a song from its lyrics, but you couldn’t make out the entire phrase, see example below.

·          “imagine all the * living for today”

To you or me, that may look like nonsense. However, Google search will search for that phrase knowing that the asterisks can be any word.

Is to be good at googling a necessary skill today?

Use a hyphen to exclude words

You want to eliminate results with certain words if you try to search for a term that generates many results that are not of interest to you. An example is Jaguar. When you Google for Jaguar, you may get results for both the car and animal. If you are only interested in the animal, you can cut one out, use hyphens to tell the engine to ignore the contents with that word.

·         Jaguar -cars

This tells the search engine to search for jaguars but to remove any results that have the word “car” in it. It can be wildly helpful when finding information about something without getting information about something else.

Use colon to search specific sites

Think of the “site:” function as a Google search that searches only a particular website. If you want to see every time CNN.com mentioned Donald Trump, use the search

·         Donald Trump site:cnn.com

This will search for all content related to Donald Trump, but only on cnn.com. All other search results will be removed.

Use the terms AND OR in your search

Another thing I learned is that you can use ANDOR with big letters between words or phrases when you are googling. Where AND will narrow down the search and OR will increase it.

For example, like this

·         chocolate OR dark chocolate

This will search both for webpages including chocolate or dark chocolate.

You can also use this together with the quote tip above like this

·         “Best ways to perform exploratory testing” OR “How to perform exploratory testing”

If you use AND, both words must be included in the result but not necessarily followed by each other, but somewhere in the text.

You can combine them as you like and use them more then one time in one googling.

Search for a range of number

Searching for a range of numbers is another tip very useful for people interested in numbers or statistics.

Essentially you use two dots and a number to let Google search know you’re looking for a specific range of numbers. Like the syntax below:

What teams have won the Stanley Cup ..2014

In the first instance, the search will toss back the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2014. The two dots with only one number will tell the search that you don’t need anything before or after 2014. This can help narrow down searches to a specific number to improve search results.

In the second, Google will search for the numbers 21, 22, and 23. It is obscure, but wildly useful if you happen to need to search for numbers like this.

Is to be good at googling a necessary skill today Conclusion

Is googling an important skill today? I would say yes and after doing this research my searches have become more accurate and I find what I am looking for even faster than I did before.

What are your thoughts on this?

Did you learn any new Google skills from reading this blog post?

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