Google is an intrinsic part of our lives now. You can be more productive at your job if you pick up some tricks on how to conduct certain searches more effectively. Spending a few minutes on this today can help you immensely on your job.
I will provide you with twenty scenarios. I want you to be able to handle them effectively on Google. We will use the term "customer service" as the default search.
(1) Do you know how to search for the exact phrase "customer service" on Google? Conduct two searches- one for the exact phrase and for the two words. What differences do you notice?
(2) Do you know how to search for PowerPoint files on the Web that have the exact phrase "customer service"? How about pdf files? How about Excel files?
(3) Do you know how to search for information about the exact phrase "customer service" on .edu sites only? Can you repeat search #1 on (4) Google's Directory, (5) Google's Groups and (6) Google's Images?
(7) Repeat search # 1. Look at the results closely. Next to each result there are two terms- "Cached" and "Similar pages". Click on these terms for the first few results. What do you notice? Do you see any differences?
(8) Get a list of sites that link to my homepage- http://faculty.washington.edu/sandeep.
(9) Search for a phone number on Google. First use 425 352 5000. What do you find? Now, try other numbers you know- e.g. your company's main phone #, your home phone # etc. You could also try this one 425 352 5229. Using parentheses for area code does not make a difference.
(10) Locate Google's page for Microsoft-related sites. Repeat search 1.
(11) Visit Google.com and type in an address anywhere in the country. What do you see?
(12) Repeat search 1 on local.google.com. Limit results to the city where you live. Do you see different results?
(13) Get a definition of the term "customer service" from Google. Compare the results with search 1.
(14) Type in different versions of wrong spellings for "customer service". I would suggest "custmoer service", "custmoer srevice" etc. Do a search on this. How does Google react?
(15) Type in a stock quote in Google- e.g. AMZN for Amazon.com, MSFT for Microsoft. What do you get?
(16) Go to your car and locate the VIN number- this is usually on the driver side of the windshield. This may also be on your registration. Now, type in that number on Google. What pops up?
(17) Visit- http://www.google.com/language_tools. Now, do the following. Repeat search 1 in French. Use the "translate this page" feature. What do you find? Go back to the language tools page and translate my home page into French and other languages. [You can also locate language tools from Google's home page.]
(18) Click on the word "preferences" on the home page. Parents are going to love this. It is also good to know this as workplace rules for Internet usage change. Locate the term SafeSearch and notice that you can set three levels of filtering. I recommend using strict filtering.
(19) Now, Google your profs. Search for their names on the Web, the directory,Groups etc. Search for other people you know- e.g. your friends, your boss, the Chancellor etc. You are now googling.
(20) We are very familiar with www.google.com. How about Google in other countries? Try repeating search 1 on these sites-
b. Australia- www.google.com.au