How to quickly find what you are looking for on the internet

internet search

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The internet is a huge community where you can find virtually everything. But how long it takes you to find what you are looking for is entirely up to your skills.

Did you know you can search for an item on the internet using a picture of that item? An example use case will be if you don’t know the name of the item but you would like to purchase that item.

In this article, I’m going to take you through the skills necessary to easily find what you are looking for on the internet.

Using Ctrl + F (Cmd + F) to find things.

This is one of the most useful shortcuts there is. It works in a lot of places including webpages, pdf and other documents, to mention a few.

Ever Googled a keyword or phrase, found a link that contains that keyword, clicked and went to the site only to realize that there’s too much text to read before finding your phrase?

Ctrl + F will solve this for you. When you get to the website, press Ctrl + F ( Cmd + F on Mac). Then enter the keyword or phrase you would like to find.

Ctrl + F to find

You can press the up or down icon next to the search bar to move through the results.

How do you do the same thing on phone?

Using Chrome browser, click on the settings icon at the bottom right, scroll down and select “Find in page”.

Using Safari, click on the share icon at the bottom center, scroll down and click “Find on page”.

How to properly do a Google Search (Advanced Google Search)

Google is the biggest search engine and therefore the biggest internet crawler. This means that Google’s bots are constantly crawling websites and collecting information.

Everyone knows the basics of Google search. What most people do not know is that there are better ways of entering your search keyword to get better results.

Here are some tips to get better Google search results:
  • Keep it simple and use only important words. Don’t be too specific in your search. Rather than searching “Where can I find the nearest bank”, search “Banks near me”.
  • Use quotes to get a direct phrase match. If you put your search keywords in quotation marks, you get exact match phrases. If you search for “Life is too short”, you will probably get some articles that have this exact quote there. Without the quotes, you may get results from websites or articles that may even be talking about how short life is. Without actually stating this quote.
  • Use a minus sign to exclude some words. If I did a search like “is apple good”(without the quotes of course). I will get results that match both Apple as a company and Apple as a fruit/food. To remove the results that match the fruit, I can do “is apple good -fruit”. This will leave me with only results about Apple as a company. Even better I can do “is apple good -fruit -food”.
  • Use a colon to search in specific websites or file types. If I search ” iOS 14:trendietech.com “, this will give me results from only trendietech.com. You will most likely find our post on upgrading to iOS 14 as your first results. I can also search ” Gifted hands filetype:pdf ” and this will bring me a pdf of the book Gifted hands( of course that is if it’s available”).
  • Use the asterisk wildcard to fill in for you. This is best used for finding a quote or song lyrics of you don’t remember the entire line. For example if I search ” If you can’t * run, if you cant * fly “. This means the words at the Asterisk can be anything. So Google will fill in any possible words and bring you best matches.

How to find Academic material, with Google Scholar

normal google search
google scholar search

If you look at the 2 image above, you will quickly notice a big difference in the search results despite the search keyword being the same.

The image in the second one is a search with Google Scholar. Google scholar gives you results from scholarly works such as journals and materials from various libraries and databases.

You can find Google scholar by going to scholar.google.com or you can Google “google scholar” and click on the first link.

Google scholar comes in handy when you are working on a research paper or academic assignment and you need good references.

How to find items using photo, Google Photo Search

This is one of the most recent features of Google search. The best use case is when you want to purchase an item but you don’t know it’s name.

Using the Google photo search, you can search for that item by taking a picture or uploading a picture of the item. This has so many other very useful applications.

On PC, you can click here to go to Google image search. Or you can also Google “Google images” and choose and the first link. At the Google images page, click on the image icon next to the search bar and select “Upload an image”.

On phone, you need to download the Google search app for this. The Google search app is a great app for doing all your searches. You can find this app as “Google” on PlayStore or App Store.

Google search app

When you open the app, click on the image icon next to the search bar to start an image search.

Take a photo to search

Now you can focus the camera on an object and then click on the search icon. Or you can upload an image by clicking on the “upload button” next to the search.

You can also do some specific types of searches. Look at the bottom of the image above. For example, you can select “Shopping” if your intention is to buy the product.

You can also swipe to “Places” and take images of landmarks around you. This can guide you to navigate around.

Using Voice command to enter search keyword

When you feel lazy to type, you can use voice command. Simply click on the mic icon next to the search bar in any type of Google search.

Wrapping up

Knowing how to properly search might decide the difference between spending 30minutes or 5minutes to find something. Use the right techniques and save yourself some time.

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