When you’re trying to carry out research using the Internet, that means you’re trying to answer some form of question or complete a simple investigation using the sources available to you to support it. It’s often crucial to have the most up-to-date information available to you.
Often you might start off by going into Google and doing a search. But sometimes this can be returning information that’s considered highly appropriate, and perhaps ranked highly by the search engine, but this may be down near the bottom of a list in terms of date or order. In other words, it may be information that’s been written several years ago, and it may not meet the criteria of being up-to-date which you had set for yourself. How do you make sure the information you get back from Google is up-to-date?
The first thing you should do is look down the left-hand side of the Google search page, and you’ll find a set of options available to you. One of them is to select the dates that you’re restricting your search to. You can restrict simply to the latest posts — these might be ones produced in the last hour or so. You can restrict it to ones produced in the past 24 hours. Or you can restrict to a longer time period, such as seven days, a month, or a year. The exact options will vary depending on your Google locality. By setting this filter to an appropriate value, you’ll be able to make sure the results you receive are ones that have been produced fairly recently, and so they provide a great starting point for your up-to-date research.
The second thing you can do is leave Google entirely and move instead to the social media sites. If you look on Facebook or on Twitter, you’ll find people commenting all the time and giving up-to-date information back. And that’s the whole advantage of social media is that as the latest news stories develop, or the latest trends that appear on the web, you’ll find people can’t just wait to give you their opinion on them.
Often they’ll help you further by providing links back to the sources for their information, and these tend to be particularly up-to-date. So go ahead and search Twitter directly, or use some kind of aggregation service to search a whole range of social media sites, and you’ll get up-to-date information back directly from those.
The last place I would suggest you try are news sites. Now you may choose to go directly to your favorite newspaper that has an online presence, or your favorite online TV news service, and to search that. By doing so you’ll be going directly to the sources of up-to-date information, and this has a good advantage when you’re researching that generally most news services have research information first-hand. So you’re getting very valid information from their own perspective.
Alternatively, you may look to use an aggregation service, such as Google News, which will search a wide number of news sources simultaneously and return what it thinks are the best sources for you based on its proprietary algorithm. So by using news sources, you can assure yourself of being sent back valid up-to-date information for your particular problem.
Always make sure the information you research is up-to-date, particularly if you’re writing something which is based on the latest trends or the latest findings. By changing your Google search strategy slightly to just use the latest results, or alternatively use of Google News service, you’ll be getting up-to-date information back. If you couple that with a social media, which you can search directly through Google or through a different aggregation service, you can be sure you get the topics of most interest to people who are chatting online or the Internet at any one time. This will ensure that your search results are bang up-to-date.