3 tips for more effective online searches

Often, when we perform online searches we end up finding hundreds of thousands of results – many of them irrelevant. Thankfully, there are a number of simple steps you can take to help generate more accurate results.

Keep it simple

Use the fewest number of words or phrases you can. If you’re searching for Chinese takeout in your area, type in “Chinese food” as well as the name of your city or your zip code. That should garner accurate results even if you aren’t sure precisely what you’re looking for.

Learn about Boolean

Boolean searches are something many of us are familiar with, whether we realize it or not. Essentially, Boolean searches center around using the terms “and,” “not” and “or” in your searches. It lets you include or exclude a number of words and phrases from your search results.

You can also have the same effect by using simple pluses and minuses in your searches. If you want to include a term in your search simply put a “ ” right before it in the search box. If you want to ensure that a certain term does not pop up in your results, place a “-“ before that word or phrase.

Be precise

When you’re performing a search, it’s best to be as specific as possible. If you know what it is that you’re looking for, use exact phrases instead of just keywords. When you use broad phrases, they can often be misunderstood by the search engine and leave you with results you don’t need.

Using quotation marks is a good way to ensure better search results. Most search engines recognize that as a request for an exact phrase search. So, if you’re looking for a company and know the exact name, it may be in your best interest to search for it in quotes.

These three strategies can greatly impact the accuracy of your search results. You’ll spend less time sifting through website descriptions and pages of results, and more time getting the information you need.

For even more tips on performing online searches, take a look at this article.