Sunday, January 22, 2012

It Finds What I’m Looking For: How Google Became The Only Search Engine I Use.

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The Good: Easy-to-use interface, Amazing result quality, Decent emerging products
The Bad: None that I can find.
The Basics: rules the search engine market rightfully by presenting great results for searches with a very clear interface.

Exploring the internet should be easy, but there seem to be multiple schools of thought on search engine sites. The newer search engines seem to be much more about style and flash as opposed to results. That is why, since pretty much the first moment I learned of its existence, I have been using Google. is a website that operates using more substance than flash. As a result, I frequently find what I want especially quickly on the site and I recommend it whenever I hear anyone complaining about not finding things online.

Basics is a search engine. That means all it is designed to do is to search the vastness of the world wide web and provide links to places one wants to go, based upon criteria one enters. The main page – – is a remarkably simple page with the name Google on it with a box below. The title image changes almost daily to highlight artwork by people who submit artwork that plays off the name Google or fits a theme of the day (like Google in red, white and blue with fireworks going off for the Fourth Of July). Either way, the primary search site is not terribly graphics intensive, so those of us stuck on very old, very slow computers will find it easy to get results fast because the site does not take a long time to load up., I learned years ago, tends to come up with amazingly relevant search results because a Google search actually utilizes search results from several other search engines. So, when one types in their search request, Google actually searches several search engines and prioritizes the results based upon the results that come up most frequently across several types of search engines.

Usage is generally easy to use. The box that is below the site’s name graphic may be clicked upon and one simply types in what they are looking for and then clicks upon the box that says “Google Search.” This brings up a new page of links that seem to fit the criteria. Usually, these results are remarkably relevant and exactly what I am looking for.

There are a few tricks to getting the most out of The first is using special tricks (Boolean) to help make one’s results more relevant. So, for example, when searching a specific person’s name, put it together in quotes. The difference between searching: Ellen Page and “Ellen Page” is the difference between 7,700,000 results (many of which degenerate into websites devoted to web design and sites about women named Ellen that have nothing to do with actress Ellen Page) and 2,370,000 websites all of which are about Ellen Page (though not always the actress).

As well, one can select a website specifically for information they are looking for. So, for example, if you used the search engine on an obscure review site to look for Ellen Page articles and were not happy with the 22 (with quotes) or 139 (without quotes) results that come up (who would: none of the movies that feature her come up with those searches!), Google becomes a great option. By going there and typing the site name and then Ellen Page, 380 results come right up starting with reviews of movies that feature actress Ellen Page! What could be better than that? A search engine that actually finds what one is looking for. That is quality as far as I am concerned!


As mentioned above, Google organizes sites that it finds by relevance and I have found that their results are pretty extraordinary and usually I find exactly what I am looking for within seconds. Google offers a few added options for those more computer savvy and those looking for more than just data online. So, for example, when those looking for Anne Hathaway online become intimidated by the 5,600,000 or 5,510,000 (the quotes don’t make much difference there!) sites that come up when searching Google when all they want to do is ogle the actress, there is a convenient button at the top of the results page which says “images.” This redefines the search and comes up with 1,350,000 online photographs (many of which are duplicated across the Web) without the peskiness of text to thwart their lascivious stalking desires. One of the things that is especially useful is that with the right search terms, one can find photographs that are in the public domain for free use.

And for those who want videos, there is a button atop the results page right next to the “Images” button that provides a list of Videos. In the case of Anne Hathaway , there are 10,500 results. There are similar buttons for Maps (no, there are no maps of Anne Hathaway, but rather creepily, Google seems to have no problem telling the world where her cottage in England is). For the most recent information on the search terms, there is a “News” button (it turns out Anne Hathaway is performing in London now and the reviews are quite good!). There are also shopping links that may be specified (5,400 things of Anne Hathaway paraphernalia to buy, as it turns out) and finding any of these things is as easy as clicking a button!

One of the other ways to use the site is through the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. One types in their search terms in and clicks the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button to the right of the “Google Search” button. This takes the user directly to the most relevant (in Google’s estimation) page. They are often right. has recently gotten into webmail based programs with its Gmail, but that is a separated product listing. does have a button for it.

Overall is quick, efficient and generally finds me exactly what I am looking for, especially when other search engines fall down on the job!

For other websites I have reviewed, please be sure to check out my takes on:
Barnes And


For other website or software reviews, please be sure to visit my Computer Reviews Index Page!

© 2012, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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