Google is the top search engine in the world and for a very good reason – the company goes out of its way to provide the most valuable and useful search results to users. When users search with Google, they know they are getting the most relevant search results available and that is why most users choose Google over any other search engine. The best part about search with Google is that all of your results are completely customized and you can even customize them further if you wish. Let’s take a little short tour of Google now. Even if you think you know Google search like the back of your hand, read along. You just might learn a thing or two.
It should be noted that Google changes its search algorithm and search with Google features quite often. Therefore, some of this information may be obsolete by the time it is written. Most of the customization features are part of Google’s overall infrastructure and are unlikely to change any time soon. These features are what have made Google the top search engine many years running, after all.
Your Initial Search
If you were to pull up the Google home page at www.Google.com, you would be taken to a blank white screen. Sometimes there are helpful links on this page (for example, Google provided links related to voting locations and schedules during election time), but overall this page is just a plain white one with a search box. Let’s search for “Purple socks mens large” in the search results (without quotes). Do that now.
Even though we searched with Google using the same keyword term, it’s unlikely that we have the same search results. This is for a number of reasons.
Do you notice the cream colored box in the top left corner with listings, separating them from the rest of the search results? These are paid ads that advertisers set up through Google’s Adwords platform. These ads are oftentimes selected because of the geographical area. My paid search results might bring up stores nearby that sell purple socks. That information wouldn’t help someone else who might live hundreds of miles away.
On the right, you have a short clip of some shopping ads along with some photos. I now get to see purple socks, who sells them and for what price.
There are then paid advertisements below them and to the left and under the cream colored box are the organic search results.
Now, right away we have discussed the fact that Google selects results based on geographical area. This is one feature of Google that has set it apart from competitors. When you search with Google, you get localized search results based on where you are. If you are using a mobile device, Google will use your devices GPS service to pinpoint your location, which will help to deliver more targeted content.
Now let’s say that I don’t want text results and instead I want images. I can merely click on the Images tab above the cream colored box and I’ll be able to view my search with Google in image form only. There is a shopping tab and if you click more, there are videos, news, books, places, blogs, flights, discussions, recipes, applications and patents. Whew, talk about personalized search results.
To the right of your search tabs, Google provides a Search Tools tab. If you click on that tab, you will be able to filter your results even more. You can select only those results that were posted during a certain time frame. You can select only sites with images or only those that are nearby. You can even select your area so that you can personalize your search with Google even further.
In the upper right hand corner are more options for personalization. You can select personal results or you can hide those personal results. You can also turn SafeSearch on or off. This will help to hide nudity and other adult content from your search results, which is handy if you have delicate sensibilities or children nearby.
Google is constantly searching for more ways to customize its search results. Keep an eye on the results pages because things are always changing. What you read here now might not be relevant tomorrow. One thing is for sure, search with Google will always deliver relevant results and the search engine will do so any way you prefer.