Several of you are going to think this is the stupidest, most obvious recommendation ever.
And I know that most of you already know, love and use Google as your primary search engine. In fact, that’s how most people find Ask Leo! in the first place, and it’s what powers the search you’ll find on every page.
I probably don’t need to convince you that it’s useful.
The problem is that most people don’t use it well.
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By “well”, I mean that when searching for particular bits of information, many people enter over-general, or over-specific, search terms. As a result they either don’t find what they’re looking for even though it’s out there, or spend way too much time manually wading through search results.
It doesn’t have to be like that. My wife often challenges me to look something up for her, and it’s rare that I can’t get exactly what she was looking for on the first page of search results, often in the number one spot. How? By knowing how searches work, and choosing my search terms carefully. It’s as simple … and as complex … as that.
A friend of mine, Tara Calishain, has written a book, Web Search Garage, that I highly recommend. It can really help improve your “Googling” skills. (It actually applies to all search engines.) You can read more about the book, and why I recommend it so strongly here: “Web Search Garage”.
Regardless of whether you get that book, or use other resources or techniques to do it, my strongest recommendation is simply to improve your search engine skills. Google is an unbelievably powerful tool, and it really is worth the time invested in learning to use it effectively.