We’ve all gone through the hustle. Wanting to quickly search for something online, but ending up taking more time than was planned for.
Be it because of getting diverted from your goal due to a seemingly more interesting article. Or maybe getting a rather different result from your web search.
I bet you have asked yourself or anyone near you why search engines sometimes don’t exactly display what we search for.
The best answer for that would be that all search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others are auto programmed. But perhaps you already know that.
It’s more of garbage in – garbage out procedure. That is where Search Engine Optimization comes in. (But, that’s a topic for another day)
Imagine how many words out there can be used to refer to different things under different circumstances! It helps that as humans, we can read the underlying tone and sometimes understand those words accordingly.
However, a search engine will display for you all there is to know about a particular phrase or word you’ve put in your search box.
Saving time while searching online is all about narrowing down to specific information out of the millions of results the search engines contain.
Here are your tips to save time while searching online
1. Specific use of keywords.
No! You will not type in the whole sentence. Read through or extract out the keywords you think will portray your web search.
For instance, if your statement is; ‘How to save time while doing online research’, your keywords will probably be ‘online research’ but then that does no justice to your search results.
To make it more specific, add the phrase ‘save time’. The terms should be specifically related to the subject.
Well, that doesn’t mean you will get what you want straight away.
Though for some subjects it does, which is well and good. To other subjects, it just takes us to point number two.
2. Rephrasing your web search.
A variety of results always spring up at your first web search. After clicking on a few of them, you probably realize that most of them don’t have what you are searching for.
The next thing on the menu will be to rephrase your search input.
Following the example we have already used, you can decide to rephrase your input as ‘quick ways to research online’.
OR: You can scroll to the bottom of the search and choose the suggested phrases.
3. Use of operators to eliminate some words.
Operators like a minus sign before a word help to eliminate the word from your search results.
Sometimes the web search we conduct tends to have highly-ranking articles with few of the keywords popping up.
Add a minus sign or hyphen to the unnecessary word so as to narrow down your search results. ‘how to lose -belly fat’
Without a minus (-)
With a minus (-)
As you can see in the images above, the second search only returns pages that don't have the word belly.
4. Use of quotation marks and avoidance of stop words.
Applying double quotation marks around your search phrase is as well another easiest shortcut to narrow down your search to only the results you want.
With double quotation marks, your web search will not provide you with related information but rather the specific results you have quoted. For example “how to lose belly weight”
Stop words like in, on, the, and others should be avoided. Some search engines include stop words in their searches increasing the number of results thus wasting more time.
Keep your words in their simplest forms and not in continuing or any other tenses. This way, your search results are more specific.
5. Use different search engines or specific websites.
A quick search on Google may not be productive, so why not switch to Yahoo, Bing or Ask.com. You may be surprised by the variety of information you will obtain.
In case you have a trusted website in mind, then include the site name at the end of your search so that your result is direct. For example; ‘how to lose weight yukudemy.com’ or ‘site:yukudemy.com how to lose weight'
Now keep this in mind, you may want to save time but that doesn’t mean you are up for any misleading information.
The worst decision you’ll ever make is to click on one result and call it a done deal and call it time-saving, even if it means obtaining misinformation. Then it’s probably time-wasting.
Be ready for the consequences on your blog, presentation, or wherever you’ll have applied the information to.
Let’s not rely on one search result in the name of saving time.
If there is a search shortcut that you use, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below. Thanks for reading, and do me a favor. Please share this with someone you think might benefit.