My granddaughter keeps telling me to Google on this or Google on that to find things. I’ve gone to Google and searched for stuff but I have to wade through a lot of stuff to find what I want. How do I become a good Googler? Anne G. - Sheffield
Google is one internet search engine. There are many others such as Yahoo and Ask but Google is the king. Google has an uncanny way of delivering what you are searching for but there are a few tricks to make it work even better for you.
Google comes from the mathematical term (italics) googol, which is 10 to the 100th power, or 1 followed by 100 zeros. It was coined by the 9 year-old nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner in 1938. Kasner needed a name for a huge number that would illustrate the difference between an unimaginably large number and infinity. Google is an adaption of googol. Google's headquarters, called the Googleplex, is named after the number googolplex.
Searching Google is really easy to do. Simply go to Google.com, enter your search string into the little box then sift through the results. For example, if you were looking for information on Florence, Alabama, you might simply type “Florence” into Google.com. If you do, you will get a list of thousands of web pages that have the word “Florence” mentioned somewhere in the page. This search result is listed in order of popularity. You will not see any mention of Florence, Alabama in the first page.
Since we are searching for information on Florence, Alabama, go ahead and type that into the search box. When you do, you will get a page full of the most popular websites that mention Florence, Alabama in them. The first few suggestions are the City’s official site, the Tourism Department’s site and an informative article on Florence on the user-edited website Wikipedia. If you are hunting for a newspaper in Florence, Alabama, type “Florence Alabama Newspaper” and the first few hits are the TimesDaily.
Google usually ignores common words and characters such as "where" and "how", as well as certain single digits and single letters, because they tend to slow down your search without improving the results. If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can conduct a phrase search, which simply means putting quotation marks around two or more words. Common words in a phrase search (e.g., "Where’s Bernie") are included in the search. Combine these with normal searches and you’ll have what you’re looking for in no time.
There are dozens of other ways to further customize your searches to come up with exactly what you want every time. Since this newspaper won’t devote a full page to my ramblings I may revisit this subject next time. In the meantime, find many more hints at Googleguide.com.