Search Engine Tips: Web Searches Made Simpler
If you use the Windows-based OneLaunch search bar (powered by Yahoo), Google, or any other search bar to search for something, you probably do what a lot of people do, type in whatever you’re looking for in the search bar. With hundreds of billions of web pages and over two billion internet searches monthly, looking up things like the best pizza near me, who was that actress in the 80s TV show Moonlighting, and where is Madagascar the country may not result in an exact or correct answer on the first try.
What many people don’t realize is that Yahoo, Google, and other search engines provide a bunch of ways that you can narrow your search to get better results. In this article, we’ll offer search engine tips to help you the next time you search for information online, whether you use OneLaunch or Google.
How Do I Search the Internet … Better?
Searching the web isn’t the same as asking a person a question, although ChatGPT and artificial intelligence are changing that.
What’s the difference between ChatGPT and AI versus search engines like Google? When you ask AI a question, it crawls the internet and gives you an answer in its own words. When you ask Google a question, it connects you with answers from multiple sources and lets you decide which sources to select.
To supercharge your internet searches, we’ll cover basic web search tips, such as using punctuation and simplifying your question. These tips can improve your search skills and help you get the most out of search results without needing to open multiple web pages looking for your answer.
Advanced (But, Still Easy) Web Search Tips
What happens if you’re not finding exactly what you’re searching for with basic search engine tricks? It’s time to learn some advanced web search engine techniques. Don’t worry: The following tips won’t make searching for information on the internet any harder or more complicated.
Select a search tab to filter your results
Selecting a tab, such as news, videos, or images at the top of a search engine’s page like Yahoo and Google may help narrow your results. Other Yahoo and Google tab search options include shopping and filtering by time. With OneLaunch, you can narrow Yahoo’s search by the past day, week, or month. Google can return search results from the past hour to the past year to a custom date range you enter.
Both Google and Yahoo use these search operators to help you narrow your options:
- ” “ quotes around a search phrase indicate that you want exact matches
- Use site: when you want to narrow your search to only a particular site or site type, as in vehicle recall list site:nhtsa.gov or vehicle recall list site:.gov.
- Use related: when to find search results that are related to or similar to a given domain.
- Use before: and after: to search for results that were published before or after a certain date.
Add an @ symbol to find someone or something on social media
Looking for someone or something on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? Type your search word or phrase in either the OneLaunch or Google search bar followed by an “at” symbol @ in front of the social media platform you want to search. For example, dog rescues @Facebook will return Facebook pages for dog rescues near you. Nature @instagram will result in Instagram pages with nature photography, video, travel ideas, etc.
Include website information in your search
If you know the website you want to visit, include its name with your search term(s) or phrase. For example, if you’re looking for information on tiling floors from HGTV, adding the site name HGTV will return a host of results, including videos, how-tos, and designs ideas from HGTV. If you don’t include the site name, you will get search results from DIY-type web pages around the internet, regardless of the search engine you use.
Add a function to your search words or phrases
Functions are things we want the search engine to do for us, such as define a word, calculate an equation, convert measurement units or money, or translate text in a specified language.
For example, when you type bottleneck definition or define bottleneck in the OneLaunch or Google search box, they will return the definition and a usage example. When you write out an equation such as 4 x 6 + 42= in either search bar, they both return the correct answer of 66. Need to convert money or a measurement unit? Write the number or amount of money to convert. For example, 2 miles to meters will result in Google’s answer of 3218.69. OneLaunch (Yahoo) goes out an extra digit, 3218.688. For currency, the same thing; type the number of USD to Canadian dollars (or whatever foreign currency you want to convert to), and the search engine will display the resulting conversion. If you’d like to learn how to say something in a foreign language, there’s a simple function for that as well. Type what you want to say along with the language you would like the search engine to translate to. For example, type the words good morning spanish (capitalization not necessary) into the OneLaunch or Google search bar to view the translated word buenos días.
Note: While OneLaunch uses Yahoo as its default search engine, you can easily switch to another search engine like Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo.
As the enormous amount of information on the internet continues to increase, the above tips will make finding your needle in the digital haystack easier.