A Smarter Way To Use Google

A Smarter Way To Use Google

BNC deals with a variety of challenges facing businesses in staying up to date in their technology and networking solutions. Once people get on that technology, there’s a skillset that’s varied in how we use the web, and there certainly is potential to learn the full capabilities of a powerful tool like Google.

The SERP

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page, and that’s where the magic happens insofar as finding what you need when you search Google. Depending on the search, you can have a list of local results, a variety of ads, videos, images, and the classic list of websites with the answer to your query.

Foremost is knowing which is a paid result and which is an organic result. The difference is that some links show up on the page for free, naturally, and others are paying to be there. The higher up on the page, the more likely it is to be clicked, so businesses will pay for that prime real estate with cost per click ranging from a matter of pennies, to hundreds of dollars for a single click. The rates vary depending on the competitiveness of the search.

You can spot an ad usually because it will say “ad” somewhere on the listing, but usually the format looks a little different, with extra lines to write selling points for a web listing. There are 10 organic results per page, and are often the most authoritative since Google has crawled the entire web and sifted out the best results for query based on over 200 factors. Google wants to give you the best results for what it thinks you’re looking for so they’re trying to get it right.

Knowing Your Operators

Google has functions beyond the simple search query. You can ask for how many pages are on a URL, see which pages on a site contain a certain keyword, and filter through all sorts of results quickly. Here are a few quick “operators” to get specific results on Google:

  • Site:yoursite.com – limits your search to a single site
  • Keyword source:nytimes – allows you to choose a specific source in Google News
  • Intext:air keyword – results where the text appears in the body of the page
  • Inurl:keyword – search for a word or phrase within a URL
  • Keyword filetype:pdf – search for a certain topic or keyword in a file type
  • “keyword” – use quotes search for that exact phrase as the search
  • AND – how to delineate two keywords or phrases
  • Minus sign (example: dress shoes –suede) – to search but without certain words in the search specifically
  • Asterisk – a spaceholder when you don’t know the specific word in a phrase, asking Google to find the complete phrase.
  • OR – to show you’re looking for either/or both. Must be capitalized (example: pirate ship OR pirate boat)
  • Date range (YEAR..YEAR) – how to find results published in a specific year range (example: bill clinton net worth 2011..2015)
  • Weather search – you can search the weather in a city by searching (Weather:hoboken)

Incognito Mode

One trick to search Google without your search history and personalization being taken into account is to search in Incognito Mode to get the raw results for a specific search. Google will often show results based on past searches and what it thinks you’re looking for based on demographic data and historical data including cookies. You can bypass this with an incognito mode search and see the results without your history taken into account. This can be useful for a variety of reasons.

Get In Touch With BNC Today

BNC is an IT consulting firm with locations in Dallas, Denver, and Austin, we have diverse industry experience that offers on-site and remote support from dedicated engineers that work directly with a company to find the best IT solutions. BNC offers anything from a more long term outsourcing consulting role to flat rate projects when a company needs a single system upgrade. Get in touch with BNC today to get expert IT consultation.