Linggo, Setyembre 19, 2010

Google: the Science of Search

I have been doing searches on Google for 12 years now and I learned how to be a better searcher by trial and error and with some help from the Google Cheat Sheet.

A few days ago Jay Trinidad, Google Asia Pacific's product marketing manager for consumer products, gave some tips on how to become a super Google searcher. Here's some of them:

1. Keep it short and simple - don't use too many words in a query.

2. Eliminate unwanted results - sometimes we search for words that have multiple meanings. To eliminate some unwanted results just put a minus sign ("-") and the redundant keyword after the query (i.e. [java -coffee]). This is also quite useful for searching for recipes (i.e. [adobo -toyo]).

3. Use contextual words to indicate the kind of result you want - include words that would put your query in the proper context. For example you'd like to learn gardening, as a beginner you essentially want to read on the basics. So you can try [gardening tutorial]. Other contextual terms are DIY or how to, guideline, curriculum, lesson plans and summary.

4. Find a word on the page - oftentimes when doing research you'd end up in web pages that have very long text and that results. To find the word your searched for within the page just type "Ctrl+F" on your keyboard.

5. Search operators - refine your searches by telling Google to perform a particular kind of search. Here's a few search operators you can use -

Define: - use Google as a dictionary. For example, define:ROTL.

Filetype: - find documents of a particular kind. For example, gardening filetype:pdf.

Site: - search within a single domain. For example, android

6. Advanced Search options for Google Web Search - or "masusing paghahanap" in Filipino. You need not memorize these search operators. All of these are available on Google Advanced Search.

7. Simple queries for simple answers - try using the following keywords to find some queries that we do often -

Weather - i.e. [weather davao]

Local - for local business hunting. i.e. [pizza Makati]

Public Data - i.e. [population Philippines], [gdp Philippines]

Currency and unit conversion - i.e. [2,000 php to usd]

Time - i.e. [time italy]

Translate - i.e. [translate ______ in Filipino], [translate glass in Filipino]

Other Google search properties you can use:

1. Google Translate - translate websites or words instantly by using Google Translate (

2. Google Maps - find places easily by searching on Google Maps ( You can find local hot spots (i.e. "pizza in Makati"), read and share local business reviews and save items to My Maps.