I search on Google. I almost never find what I want easily, when what I’m looking for isn’t so simple and “obvious.”
It’s not easy, but there are actually ways to go beyond the initial search, especially about something that is not easy to find very straightforward info about. Here’s a few Google tricks:
- If looking for software, also try http://alternativeto.net/
- Try prefixing your search term with “similar to,” “alternative to” or “like.”
- Try looking at weird or alternate ways of expressing something or synonyms of what you found, that come up in the very results you found for your original search term. For example, a page may have come up in which there is a certain type of phrase or new wordage that describes something that might “kind of be like” what you are looking for. You may be surprised at what new information comes up by using this new wordage as your next search.
- Google’s algorithms are evolving and are looking at the “context” of your search. This is both within your actual searches, and within your entire history of searches. The sequence that you perform successive searches may actually make a difference – in some cases significant enough that clearing your personal history too often may mean you might not find a search result that might have come up had you left your history alone. In other words, Google is considering what you looked for before nowadays, in more ways than it did when Google first came out, which is why one might notice that successive searches actually seems to uncover new relevant information based on what you also searched for previously. However, you should always clear your history if using an untrusted or public computer.
- Whenever finding lists, discussions, or descriptions of something more specific in your search results, Google those specific software programs or information – also repeating the steps above about finding alternatives to it, finding different ways of expressing it, and so on.
- Go broader than what you are looking for, and then look for something that might appear to be what you are looking for, immediately applying the above steps again for that particular information you found.
- Look again at information you already found. You may be surprised about overlooking something you already have found, without even realizing it.
- If you found a site, such as a blog, that posts updates related to the information you are looking for, even if it is something much broader than what you really want, you should actually check those sites frequently. Surprisingly, new information you were looking for, or perhaps better than expected, might actually appear very soon. These days everything is changing fast and new information is coming out very fast.
- Try site:desiredsite.com keyword (only in very specific cases)
- For me, items #3, #5, #6 and #7 above work most effectively, most of the time.
- As amazing as Google is, I am pretty sure it’s possible to make something better than Google – especially for hard-to-find information. This is evident by how even Google itself is changing every day – always working to try and improve what its product does, even now.