A dozen ways to power pack your Google search – Chawm Ganguly

There is hardly anyone out there who’s not using Google to search. Chances are, you too are like me, keying in words that we think are relevant, till we find what we are looking for. We are the entry level users, seekers of knowledge at the feet of the great master. There are however, simple lessons that can be learnt that will help you add power to your punch as you search. Here’s the top 12 that come to my mind. Let’s say you want to search about “social media”:

  1.   Explicit phrase search: Instead of just keying in social media in the Google search box, put the term within double quotes (“social media”)and see the marked improvement in the result.
  2. Words excluded search: Suppose you want to hone in further by excluding the term advertising, type “social media – advertising”.
  3. Site specific search: Perhaps you are looking for something specific and know the site where you think the dead sea scrolls are, key in “social media” site:www.campuscaperz.com.
  4. This or that search: Often you will be searching for more than one term, in cases like these, you can use the OR operative (OR has to be in capitals). For example, key in “social media marketing OR social media integration”.
  5. Phone search: Suppose someone calls you and you don’t have the vaguest of ideas about his identity, you can use ask Google to unveil the identity. Just key in phonebook:+91 9831665013.
  6. Numeric Range search: Okay, so you are as poor in Maths as I am and want to search something within a set number range (X-Y range). Just key in “social media 2000..2012”. Yup, it’s that easy.
  7. Synonym search: You can also search for similar terms and synonyms. All you have to do is use the “~” sign. Stumped? Try “social media” ~ marketing professionals.
  8. Specific document search: Often you will find yourself searching for a specific type of document. Suppose you have to make a presentation and just want a ready made power point presentation to fall back upon. That too can be done. Just key in “social media” filetype ppt.
  9. Word definition search: Want to look up the meaning of a particular word or term real pronto? Just type what you are searching – define: social media and see what Google conjures up for you from the farthest corners of the net.
  10. Stock ticker search: Did you stock market fanatics know that you can Google searches for your favourite stock quotes? It’s simple folks. Just key in RIL if you want to follow the dream maker.
  11. Area code search: If you want to look up the area just type the three digit area code and Google will tell you where it is.
  12. Calculator search: not many people know it, but the calculator functions are built in and there is no need to take out the calculator applet. All you need to do is to key in the functions whose results you seek and Google will do the rest.

Google has become all pervasive and most of us do not know as to how dependent we have all become.  And being blind users, most of us are yet to make the transition to transform ourselves into power users, thereby unleashing the full potential of the medium. Hope the points enumerated above help you in that specific process of transformation.

Like they say, Google that!