We all google, but with different skill levels
Googling has become synonymous with “searching for information on the internet”.
Today we want to give you a few tips on how to make even better use of this search engine, which is powerful in several senses of the word.
First: Don’t use Google, instead use Startpage.
By now, word has probably spread about how much Google knows about its users. Don’t voluntarily feed Google even more information about your interests.
When you search something on Startpage, Startpage passes your question on to Google without revealing your identity. For Google, the search query then comes from Startpage and not from you. If you are interested in knowing more about why Google doesn’t prevent this and how Startpage “makes money“ (all smart questions!), you can find this information here: https://www.startpage.com/de/how-startpage-works/.
We will continue with more practical tips for Google searches.
Limit the results.
For example, if you search for a John Williams and only enter the name, an infinite number of results will come up.
- The first name and last name are both quite common and often occur in this combination.
- The first pages of results are dominated by entries for a composer with this name.
If you do not know exactly what “your” John Williams does for a living, you could try to exclude results for the composer. You can do this with the minus sign, your search will then be “John Williams” -composer.
Did you try it out? Then you will have noticed that you are still shown results for the composer, namely from websites in other language. So here the minus sign does not help us so much.
But if you happen to know that “your” John Williams is an author, you could mark this with a plus sign (“John Williams” +author). This already gives very good results.
And there are cases where the minus-sign helps: for example, if you want to know something about a company without being shown their marketing-embellished self-portrayal:
“Bayern Munich” –https://fcbayern.com/en
In addition, it may be useful to narrow down the results for other properties, e.g.
- Search for an exact phrase, such as “Friday night and the lights are low” in quotes, if you can’t remember what ABBA’s song is called (answer: “Dancing Queen”)
- Search with “site:” within a specific web page that does not have a full text search
- e.g. fun cake site: https://funcakes.co.uk/
In addition, for current news it can help to limit the publication time. Startpage offers as selection field “last 24 hours, last 7 days, last month, last year”.
Google can help find information in our world of information overload. From a privacy perspective, we prefer to use the “middleman” Startpage for Google searches. Various search parameters also help to constantly improve the results.
And to conclude, something humorous?
Now an Internet and YouTube classic: “If Google was a guy“. A film about things that people type into Google’s search box every day.