These days our access to information is so efficient we’ve started to take it for granted. I read one blog mention that if they could describe to a person from the 1950’s something telling about our generation, they would say, “I hold in my hand a device with access to the greatest knowledge bank in the history of human existence, and I use it mostly to look at videos of cats.” I’d like to think I use the internet for more intellectual pursuits, but I don’t kid myself. I love pictures and videos of animals being adorable. But are you aware that you can improve your Google experience and efficiency based on the way you search?
Google has setup parameters based on “search operators” to better help you find what you are looking for. The easiest example of search operators, and one many people already know, is to put a phrase in quotations when searching for an exact phrase. So if you were searching for a Mark Twain quote, but could only remember the first line, “kindness is the language,” Google knows you’re searching for those words in that specific order. The first result when searched this way is the quote in its entirety: “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Simple, yes, but let’s consider something more advanced. If you wanted to search for something with several meanings, and exclude certain terms, all you have to do is add a subtraction symbol to the beginning of the term you want to exclude.
So if you were looking for information on Chicago the city, not Chicago the band, search “Chicago –band.” This tells Google to exclude listings about the great classic rock band from the 60’s and 70’s. How about indicating a location for search results? “Estate Planning location:California” will bring back strictly results with California mentioned in the content. Another tool I use frequently is the “related” parameter. This allows you to search for a list of entire websites with similar content. So if you wanted to see listings of sites with comparable content to ESPN, search “related:espn.com.” This will bring back a listing of other sports websites.
The full list of operators to help you expedite your search process is listed here. Take a second to familiarize yourself. It can really save you some time the next time you’re trying to remember “what caused the Falklands War,” or when you’re trying to find the video of that incredible waving bear.
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555
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