One of the concerns that many people have when searching through Google is that the results that are returned aren’t always the ones that are most applicable to them. How many times have you seen something like this: You’ve done a search, you’ve looked at the top results, and they all seem to largely be repeating the same information; or they’re not the up-to-date information on a particular product, service, or industry that you’re looking for. The good news is that you can dramatically improve your search results with Google by just following some simple steps which are easy to pick up and learn and will help in the long run to have a much better user experience.
The first thing you should do is to turn on Personalized Search. Personalized Search is a relatively new innovation from Google which keeps a record of the types of searches you’ve been doing in order to return the results that are most useful to you. So if you’ve done a lot of searches recently for a particular area than Google will know that this is something more likely to be of interest to you, and so the following search results will be modified slightly to improve its weighting based on what you’ve been searching for.
So Personalized Search will learn your particular habits. this can be particularly useful when there is a word which can be interpreted in multiple ways. For instance, you may be searching for “chair.” There’s a question. Could this mean a physical item of furniture, or may this mean the person who is leading a meeting? If you’ve been searching previously to this for tables, then this may give Google an idea that your chair is more likely to be physical furniture than plans for meetings arranging with your secretary. So do turn on Personalized Search, if you’ve not already done so, and this will help Google to give you results which are better for you.
The second thing to do is to consider searching with quotes on. There are two main mechanisms to searching Google. The first one is to give words without quotes. The second one is to enclose your search term inside quotation marks. By putting two words in a search term without quotes, then Google will look for those two words anywhere on a page. They do not need to necessarily be next to each other on that page.
So if you’ve searched for “yellow ball,” you could find something with the word “yellow” at the very start of the page and the word “ball” at the end of the page. If instead you were to include quotes around “yellow ball,” then you would only return information where the words “yellow” and “ball” were next to each other within this page. So “yellow” would always be the first word, and “ball” would always be the second word. This can help you if you’re looking for information where people are likely to have written a particular term within a page and can also improve your search results. Consider using more than two words inside quotation marks to return more accurate results.
The final thing you can do to improve your search results with Google is to look inside the “Advanced” settings tab. This gives you a whole host of options which you might not otherwise have considered. For instance, one thing you can do is to only return pages that have been updated within the past 24 hours, 7 days, or some other time period. If you’re looking for particularly up-to-date information, this can be a great way of finding it. You may also want to use something like Google News, rather than a pure search, to find information that’s being reported in the media. Again, this will give you more accurate results if you’re looking for an up-to-date news story. So do look in the “Advanced” options to see which ones are available to you and which ones are most suitable for giving you accurate results.
Putting all these items together, it’s very possible to get better results in Google from your first search onwards. Just consider these three things. First of all, turn on Personalized Search in order to improve the relevance of the search results that are returned to you. Secondly, decide whether you want to use quotes, or to avoid quotes, for a particular term. Generally, a search within quotes will give you more accurate results. And finally, look inside the “Advanced search” options, and this will open up a whole new world of possibilities which will help you to get the best out of your Google search experience.
By just combining one, two, or even all three of these simple Google search options, you should improve your results with Google and get the results you want on the very first page of the Google search results.