FYI: You’ve Been Google Searching All Wrong
How To Use Google Search Results To Your Advantage
Google is the leading industry search engine with about 52% of the entire world’s population of consumers and businesses utilizing its features and about 88.34 % of United States consumers utilizing Google over other competing search engines. Google is most used for everyday searches like what are the best pizza restaurants in your area, to businesses conducting extensive market research. Although so many people are using Google as their main search engine, only a fraction of them make use of Google’s Search settings. Considering Google’s default settings already do such an amazing job, the people who aren’t taking advantage of these search settings are missing out on the chance of receiving search results they never could have imagined. With the help of Google’s search setting’s options, you can not only find the best pizza shop in your area, but even other countries you plan on traveling to, or one’s that you would love to learn more about. Additionally, businesses alike can tweak their search settings in a way that will help them in sourcing unique data, and even contribute to their global growth. All this can be done with a few simple clicks and starting from a point we’re all quite familiar with, the Google Search homepage.
Starting from the search engine’s homepage go ahead and make a search as usual. After you receive your search results, the first icon you should see at the top right corner of the page is a gear.
Clicking on the gear icon, a sidebar will appear titled ‘Quick Settings’. By clicking the ‘See all settings’ button directly below the title, you will now be able to access Google’s Search settings.
The first Google Search setting option is the SafeSearch filter. This filter helps hide content for Google Search and Google Images that can potentially be explicit, inappropriate, or offensive. This filter is great for schools that give laptops out to their students, parents, and guardians, office spaces with shared computers, and even public library computer rooms. The Internet can be a great resource for people but may also show people things they never wished to see. This feature eliminates that possibility tremendously and leaves room for more fitting results and recommendations. To turn this filter on, simply click the checkbox underneath the SafeSearch filters heading and description. After doing so, the filter will start fine-tuning your search results immediately.
The next feature within Google’s Search settings is their ‘Results per page’ slider option. This component allows you to refine and customize the number of search results that appear from a single Google Search. For the typical user, Google shows ten search results being the minimum amount of search results per page. With this slider, you could increase the number of results in increments of 10, all the way to 100. This allows for the prime condition for a scholarly article search and/or research data searches because it accumulates the results in one accessible page. The functionality of the slider is quite simple in that the higher (to the right) that you go, the more search results will appear on the page. Google also lists the speeds at which the search results will load depending on the number of results you have chosen. Ten search results per page have the fastest processing speed while one hundred, understandably, has the slowest. This function can change up the way you Google to match whatever project you are working on.
Google Search automatically completes an unfinished search with popular or trending recommendation searches that they think you would be interested in your area search. This can be quite useful if you need to take public opinion into consideration or are genuinely interested in knowing what other people are thinking. As useful as it can be, in some cases seeing trending searches may not always be relevant to what you are looking for and can be a little frustrating to see. Luckily, Google’s Search settings ‘Autocomplete with trending searches’ function allows you to enable or disable popular searches popping up. This can be done by simply clicking either button option below the heading and description, one to show trending search recommendations and one to not. Both options have their pros and cons and that’s what makes this feature so crucial. Whether you’re conducting professional searches for work and/or business or searching for your own personal pleasure, this preference can be changed with a click of a button.
Google Search has the search option of ‘search by voice’ which allows users to verbally search via their device’s microphone. With the upsurge of virtual assistant technology like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, Google has accommodated this steadily changing technical environment by offering the option of speaking ‘search by voice’ answers out loud. This feature makes searching more accessible in that it creates a hands-free search experience for your most urgent questions. To enable or disable it, go to the ‘Spoken Answers’ heading and select whether or not you would like your search results to be spoken aloud or just shown through text as usual. This will boost the quality of your search sessions.
Google Search Settings also recognizes that some individuals may want to review the entirety of their search results page before even clicking on one of the results. This approach is often utilized by people who are trying to find scholarly sources, suitable data, and studies for school, work, and business purposes. With these individuals in mind, Google has a feature that gives users the ability to open all the selected search results in a new browser window. This feature can be found within the ‘Where results open’ section with the corresponding checkbox for opening new browser windows for each chosen result. This would also be an especially useful option for those comparing different products. If you were trying to find the best razor and compare the price points, product features, and reviews of two prospective razors, this option would make the process less of a back-and-forth hassle, and more time efficient.
The next component of Google’s Search settings is the well-known ‘Search History’ function. As many of you already know, your search history is the list of your previous searches from most to least recent. This feature has saved all of us when our devices unexpectedly die or update, and ultimately closing all our tabs and windows. What most people don’t know about this helpful tool is that it also allows for Google to customize and tailor your automized search results for you based on your Web & App Activity. This means that your search results and recommendations page will be suited to you and your preferences, making searching with Google a more personalized experience. In terms of how businesses are affected by these features personalized elements, search history-based results, and recommendations, Google’s ad feature can more effectively target people that fit a business’ key publics. Although on the actual Google Search setting page there isn’t an option to optimize this feature, the hyperlink with the description ‘Manage’ leads you to more information on this function, as well as links to Search History settings like whether you even want them to be saved.
This next feature is the coolest out of the bunch in terms of the results that can appear because of it. This feature called ‘Region Settings’ on the Google Search settings page allows you to be able to see the search results of different countries. For instance, if you’re trying to plan an eventful and memorable visit to Greenland, you can simply find Greenland on Google’s alphabetized region list, click on it, and search for locations Greenland locals even find trustworthy and legitimate. Google is a great resource to utilize to perform local searches such as the previous Greenland and pizza shop examples. This feature can also help businesses that are trying to expand their reach globally or are trying to offer their products and/or services to other regions. In that instance, this feature would be great to decide whether regional expansion would be suitable for the specific business through this feature’s ability to give these businesses real insight into the consumers of those specific regions. Additionally, for businesses that have already established a global footprint, this feature can help them determine their competitors in different regions, as well as their popularity. This setting has an extensive list of countries for every type of business or person to select depending on the type of search they are performing.
All these features are especially important and useful, but some people may, understandably, prefer to keep the default settings for some of them and adjust only a few features to their liking. Thankfully, this was something that Google kept in mind when developing its Search settings and grants its users the ability to save their setting selections.
After learning about Google’s Search settings, we hope that you will look at the way to search differently than before. From the simple and annual question regarding how frequently you should be flossing to more serious queries regarding your business, or what consumers are saying about it, playing around with these settings can advance your Google Search experience and results tremendously. Now that you’re aware of these features we trust that you will start taking your Google Search game more seriously and use it to your personal or professional advantage. To learn more about how Google can help your business, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.