Friday, February 12, 2016

Tell it to Googy

I try to tell people that if they have a problem or an interest or a need, try putting words about it into Google search.  You may hear Google search called "Google search engine" but that only means there is software someplace that quickly searches the worldwide web of web "pages" to see what it can find that relates to the search word or phrase you entered.  Maybe you know that Google was not the first search engine and it is not the only one there is now.  The first one I got used to was "Lycos".  I just used Google to search for Lycos and found that it is still available and working.

I think word got around to match my experience that Google's search seemed faster and more complete.  But today, too, there are times when an alternative to Google might be desirable, to see what else comes up when the same search term is used in Microsoft's "Bing" or the independent "Duckduckgo".  The website Search Engine Land and associated websites, tools and periodicals tell much more about search on the web.

It isn't very easy to think of Google search as a possible tool for just about any problem but it is.  So are the other search engines.  If you are embarrassed to search for a particular thing, you might try using the Chrome browser's "Incognito" (disguised, not identifiable) window) or the similar features of Firefox or the new Microsoft browser "Edge" that comes with Windows 10.  It can feel embarrassing to just write "how can I make more money" in Google but looking at the results might pay off if you do want more dough.

Just for the experience, I put "I am feeling lonely" into Google and got plenty of good results that might well help me feel better.  When I put part of that phrase into the search window and Google supplies the rest of its suggestion, the proposed completion shows that other people have used the search engine for the same or similar purpose.  That alone tells me some things: I am not the only one, maybe I should start a club or plan a social event.

I had not actually tried Amazon for books on Google but there are many of them.  I bought one for 99 cents.  I had not tried YouTube for videos about Google search but I got more than 10 million results in YouTube.  Google has 30 or more products so to make clear that you aren't looking at Google Translate or Google Hangout, sometimes you have to specify "Google search."

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Twitter: @olderkirby

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