The number of people who have access to the internet today is in billions and still counting. If you’re reading this article, you are one of them. Thanks to the penetration of personal computers and smartphones, the days of going to a cybercafe to send an email or engage in research are over. Now you can get any information you want from the palm of your hands, with just a tap of the keypad.
With this miracle comes its own challenges. People have access to the internet but do they know how to get whatever information they want in the most efficient way? There are lots of little tricks that can make surfing the internet pretty easier and quicker.
Here are seven ways to improve your online experience.
Optimising Google search queries:
If you’re a constant Google user here are some tricks you might not know about that can help you use the search engine more efficiently;
* Using | or OR :
These inputs are called operators -they give specific commands to the search engine. The operators (|or OR) above gives a command for the search engine to give you specific results on two subject matters. For example, capital city Texas OR Florida will show you information on both Austin, Texas and Tallehasse, Florida (that is both capitals).
* Using – or NOT :
This excludes a specific term from your results. For example, Elon Musk NOT Tesla will show you results about Elon Musk’s that exclude information on Tesla.
* Using .. :
This shows you results in a specific range. For example, if you wanted to search for “life in the Eastern Roman Empire in the 450s CE”, searching Life in the Eastern Roman Empire 450 (and adding) ..460 will exclude everything about Julius Caesar and the later Byzantine Empires and focus on the specific time period you typed. This makes research work less stressful for you.
* Using “ ” :
When you put quotation marks around a term, Google search will only return results where that exact order of words was found. This can also be used around stop words to force the search engine to consider them rather than ignore them. For example if you type “Give and it shall be given”, only search result with the exact words that you typed will be shown. No more.
* Using * :
The asterisk is used as a wildcard for one or more words in a specific phrase. For example, “Google search tips * make things easier” will include results for “Google search tips should/do/don’t/shouldn’t/will/ make things easier”.
These are pretty simple yet hidden hacks that make research online pretty easy and less cumbersome. An awesome rescue from information overload.
Let’s give you a little extra;
Using incognito window:
You use incognito window when you do not want your browsing history to be traced. For anyone who spends seven minutes at work checking out how celebrities from the 1980s have aged, this is a must. All major browsers offer incognito or private browsing mode, which means that a user’s previous activity will not be logged and stored in history. Save yourself the hassle of explaining later.
Twitter soft block:
Twitter has a good function in the mute button, which allows you to keep following an account but hides the tweets and retweets from your own timeline. It’s a great way of keeping yourself from seeing whatever the person is tweeting especially, when you do not want to offend them by unfollowing. The beautiful thing about this is that people do not know when you mute them. To mute, click on the three dots to the right of the Twitter profile in question.
Using Twitter to get breaking news/ updates:
News breaks first on twitter. Infact, twitter is the best place to find time-sensitive information online. It is great for finding out what’s going on, even if it is not being reported by official news outlets. Through twitter you can receive notifications via text or push notification when someone tweets on a topic you’re interested in. You can follow trending topics that many people are tweeting about and stay informed during a widespread emergency. Use the hashtag in the search box or simply click on the search box and the trends will appear.
Life online couldn’t be any easier. Using these hacks, the stress of information overload is greatly reduced. Go ahead and try these hacks today.
Do you have any trick we have missed? Do share with us in the comment section.