The Internet has always been most useful when used as an informational resource and contained on its many billion pages is a wealth of information, some completely useless admittedly, but a lot of it is of some value. It is the biggest information resource on the planet and the whole lot of it can be searched instantly which beats any other method of information sourcing by a mile. Gone are the days of paying a visit to the local library! Perhaps this is a little sad but thats progress for ya!
So how do you go about finding this information then? Well obviously a PC and an internet connection is a prerequisite and once you have those the first & most logical place to visit is www.google.com. Google is biggest and best search engine on the internet and its main function is to locate whatever information you tell it to. Heres how to tell Google what to do!:
- The Google home page consists of a few elements including the Google multicolored logo, some random links to other Google services and the Search Box which is what we are going to use. Google’s home page is deliberately simplistic because its only function is to serve up the info you require.
- The hardest part of any information search is to choose the right keywords to type in. Obviously this is simple if you are just looking for general info on say ‘weather in leitrim’ in which case you just type in ‘weather in Leitrim’! The word in and other similar words such as the, it, him, etc are not necessary and will be ignored by google.
- Searching the above term throws up results with links to a Leitrim newspaper and the weather page on MSN which gives us the basic weather details at a glance. Done!
- Sometimes you may need to be a bit more specific to find the exact details you need or you may need to do a ‘special’ Google search and this may need an ‘Advanced Google Search Operator’!
- All this is is a special word you type in before your keyword, for example if you want to know what a specific word means you will find out quicker if you put the term ‘define:’ before your keyword, eg, ‘define:leitrim’ tells us that Leitrim is a “A former UK Parliament constituency in Ireland” – controversial!!
- Other search operators you can use are ‘site:’ which searches only on a particular site, eg, web design site:www.reverbstudios.ie throws up all the pages in my site with information about web design.
- ‘allintitle:’ searches only in the titles of web pages, eg, allintitle: web design shows me results for pages which have the words ‘web design’ in their title meaning you get a more relevant search.
- You can also use things such as ‘OR’ which searches for either search phrase or ‘-‘ which searches for your term but not for the word you put after the ‘-‘ sign, eg, ‘graphic design -website design’ searches for Graphic Designers but not Website Designers.
- Google can also be used to do basic maths calculations simply by entering 25 – 13, 45 * 3, 35 / 10, etc..
- Currency conversions can be done by typing in ’10 euros in dollars’ etc..
- Google also has an ‘Advanced search’ link from the home page which has all kinds of options for filtering search results. Also, there are several sub-sites within Google which search for information in just one topic, eg, Images, Books, News, etc.. links to these can be found on the Google home page.
- You might like to download the Google Toolbar so you can search directly from your browser without having to go to the Google site, you can get it HERE.