The Internet is an infinite source of information. However, having the world’s finest sword is different from being able to wield it. At the same time, having all the information in the world available right at your fingertips can prove useless when you don’t really know how to locate valuable resources in the first place. Thus, this is a list of how you can use the Internet to get the information you want in the easiest way possible.
1. Use keywords
Make sure you’re specific. For example, search “translation services in Makati” instead of “translation services” if your intention is to look for such companies in the city. You can also search “Lexcode” instead, but that’s just our recommendation.
2. Search logic is needed
Here is something interesting for those who merely type words in the search bar when searching. How you connect your keywords with each other affects the manner the data is presented. For this, you can actually use the words “AND,” “OR,” and “NOT” as logical operators (also called “Boolean operators”) in most search sites to determine what should be included or excluded from your search.
This is how you use Boolean logic.
• Cats AND dogs—will retrieve information that uses both keywords; you can also use the plus (+) symbol (i.e., cats + dogs)
• Cats NOT dogs—will retrieve information for the keyword “cats” but not for “dogs”; for Google, using the minus (-) symbol should produce a more accurate result (i.e., cats -dogs)
• Cats OR dogs—will retrieve information with either keyword
• Cats NEAR dogs—will retrieve information in which the keywords are close to each other
• Bonus: Searching for p*ts will give you results about pets but also pots, puts, and even pits. This asterisk (*) serves as a wildcard and acts as a blank.
3. Try and try again (if at first search, you don’t succeed)
Usually, you don’t stop with one search. When you don’t get the results you want in your first attempt, try a Boolean operator. If your keywords are too specific, try shortening them. If they’re too broad, narrow your search. You can also use different spellings and synonyms. Try other search engines too should Google fail you!
4. Be aware of the limitations
Assess all the information you find on the Internet. Know whether they’re credible, and identify their sources. When you want to find specific information on laws, it’s better to consult a government-run website than a personal blog.
Remember that with great power comes great responsibility, and because of all the readily available information on the Internet, there’s rarely any quality control. Know that the information you’ll find is not always true, and it’s all up to you to find the ones worth looking for—and it wouldn’t hurt to do things efficiently by knowing all these things.