Have you ever wondered how many websites are now active on the internet? It’s a whopping 1.86 billion as of December 2021! Last year, a total of 21.4 million websites were created. Our quest for websites should, therefore, become increasingly tedious and difficult over time, especially at a time when information is more precious than ever.
Surprisingly, because of Google’s powerful and dependable search engine, we are still able to find the information we require the majority of the time. Nonetheless, with so much information available on the internet, it’s easy to become lost and not achieve the best results possible.
Fortunately, there are techniques of searching to ensure that we are digging in the correct holes, and we will cover some crucial phases below, along with tips and tactics to help you refine your search. Learn them all so you can get what you actually want from Google without spending time flicking through the results!
Use 5-7 Keywords
The most common first step in an online search is keyword searching. People frequently make the mistake of typing in less than five keywords. Because there are millions of websites on the Internet, your search results will be diluted if you only type in a few keywords.
For those who are unfamiliar with search engines, these would typically return results containing any of the keywords you provided in the search form, regardless of the order in which they appear. Of course, Google, being a smart tool, will order the results such that pages containing the majority of your keywords, or those containing your keywords in close proximity, appear first. To put it another way, your results will be ranked intelligently.
Ironically, if you want to narrow down your search and find more relevant websites, you’ll need to increase the number of keywords to around 5 to 7. As a result, Google will have a better idea of what you’re looking for.
Are you puzzled as to which keywords to use? To broaden your search, consider using the simple * symbol. If you type that into the query, you’ll get results for the word combination you typed in, with * as a variant. For example, if you search for “cartoon character illustration tutorials,” “cartoon coloring tutorial,” “cartoon animation tutorial,” and so on, you’ll see websites with phrases like “cartoon character illustration tutorials,” “cartoon coloring tutorial,” “cartoon animation tutorial,” and so on.
Use Exact Phrases
You can sometimes narrow down your search by directing Google to look for websites in the exact order of the terms. If you want to find out who said: “The unexamined life is not worth living,” then typing the entire sentence rather than keywords like “unexamined” or “living” is preferable.
The “OR” and “-” Formula
Google already has an OR operator. Websites that contain any of the keywords will be presented in the results when you enter in any terms. The OR operator differs from the AND operator in that you can use quote marks to identify keywords or phrases rather than having the search engine look for all of the words you typed in. This implies that if you type in “social media” OR “business,” you’ll see webpages that contain either “social media” or “business,” rather than any of the three phrases individually.
Searching Within a Site
There will come a time when you realize there is just one site where you can look for anything, but the site is likely to have either a malfunctioning search function or a confusing search result. The worst-case scenario is that the site has no search functionality at all. In these situations, Google comes in helpful because it allows you to search within a certain website as long as it is indexed by Google.