by Melissa Esquibel
Web searches are where we start when we need to find… well… almost anything! We might be looking for conference venues, industry research, recommendations for software, or vendors. The problem is, we really only want to find a few things but instead end up buried under an avalanche of search results. And what’s worse, much of that stuff isn’t even related to what we wanted. Here are 5 tips to search smart and remember how to find that thing that you really liked that one time and now can’t remember what you typed in to find it.
1. Open Each Selected Result in a New Browser Window
In the settings for both Bing and Google, you’ll find a check box to open results in a new window. This preserves the list of results and your current search while you check things out.
2. Increase/decrease Results Per Page
Search taking too long? Always finding what you need a few pages down? Increase or decrease the results per page. You’ll find this on Settings, too!
3. Turn on Safe Search
Sometimes you type in search criteria intending to find one thing and find some things that were quite shockingly not that! Turn Safe Search on in Settings, too. This will keep you from seeing things you can’t “unsee.”
4. Use Search Tools to Narrow Results
In both main search engines, you can find a filter for time period. On Google you need to click on Tools first. This is especially useful if you’re on the hunt for technical advice. I usually try to search within the year when asking a technical question. There’s not much use getting answer for Excel 2003 when I’m using Excel 2016! In Google, from the All Results drop down that appeared when you clicked on tools, you’ll find the choices of All Results or Verbatim. This would be helpful when you’re looking for Mickey Mouse and don’t’ want to get Mickey Mantle and mouse traps, too.
5. Map it!
If you’re looking for places in your search, try hitting the Maps menu selection. This will put your search results on a map. Be sure your search criteria is narrow enough to be clear about the region in which you are looking for results. If you’re looking for places near where you are, and you have allowed the search engines to use your location services, your initial results will be in that area.
Catch Melissa and other spectacular speakers at IAAP Summit 2018 in Austin, Texas. Find out why IAAP Summit is the go-to conference for office and administrative professionals year-in and year-out.