Ask anyone what their basic needs are and the answer would be food, clothing, shelter and Google access! It has become second nature to type out your query in the search bar and find out whatever you wish to find out about. In most cases you get what you’re looking for immediately but sometimes it can take a while… That’s the moment when you realize that Google searching is a skill in itself!
The Google search engine plays fair, I’ll grant you that! If you put straightforward search terms it gives you straightforward search results. Google is also quite benevolent and indulging. Even if you make spelling mistakes it gives you the correct results and informs you about your error without offending your feelings. It detects your objective despite the slightly obscure manner in which you’ve put the query.
However, when you’re looking for something lesser known, or something apparently insignificant and hence not elaborated on, you begin to understand the importance of getting the search terms absolutely right. You get results based on words like “what”, “how”, “why” and “where”; results which have absolutely no connection with what you’re looking for! It makes you want to tear your hair out! In such a situation a novice considers two courses of action:
- Rephrasing the search terms by rationing his words or by using synonyms or by changing his sentence structure
- Pressing the “Next” button with the hope that he’ll find something relevant in subsequent pages.
An expert Google searcher knows that (b) is not at all an option. The more pages you check out the more deluded you feel! Lesson learned: Patience and good vocabulary are advantageous!
On the other hand you sometimes get far too much information when you’re looking for something well known! You’re bombarded with follow-up links you’re really not interested in. But somehow you find yourself clicking those links anyway. And some more links. And some more. “It would help me to increase my knowledge”, you misguidedly feel. After a while you’ve deviated from searching for whatever you wanted and are now reading something on some completely different topic, and you’re unaware of when and how you ended up in this situation! Not only that, but you haven’t really completely taken in the extra information. So the whole exercise was a waste of time! Lesson learned: Be focused and do not give in to temptation, however justified!
Google searching can be fun when you have nothing better to do! It can be quite amusing to see the plethora of “relevant” links the search engine comes up with! Be it something important and complicated or something trivial and simple, Google points you in the right direction, or at least does its best to do so! You have to hand it to the developers – they’ve designed it so well that you’re rarely left empty-handed! It’s practically become your friend, philosopher and guide!