The Power of GooglePosted by Kevin Hughes on Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 at 11:11am.
Google is the most popular website in the world. We use it everyday and sometimes all day. Google is not just a search engine, it's an engine of answers. It's how we get from one place to the next. But are you sure you know how to use Google? You're likely creasing your forehead-of course you know how to use Google.
There's more to Google than meets the eye, and once you learn how Google actually works, you can harness it to work even better for you. Sharpen your searching skills and learn how to find the answers you're looking for. Knowing how to master Google is an important skill in today's web based world. That being said, it may be worth your time to familiarize yourself with the in's and out's of Google. Get started and read on!
If you've ever searched for the local weather and got a small widget on top that told you what the current weather was, that's an example of a OneBox, or quick answer results. They are Google results that are designed to give you clearer, more detailed results for your search queries. OneBox results appear within a special unit, and they often show up with attached images, and they extend well beyond the weather. OneBox units highlight news, shopping, image, videos, and other results that are tied up within all other listings using Universal Search.
You've likely had a lot of experience with local OneBox results when you did a search, for say, nearby restaurants or schools. Google uses a special OneBox display that will pop up with a map on the left hand side and ten local listings to the right, complete with names, addresses and phone numbers. By those who use local search intimately, it's often referred to as the "10 Pack."
Google OneBox just recently got a makeover to match their mobile and tablet designs that were released back in August of 2012. They're a cleaner design, take up more space and more interactive than before. Enjoy quick results for definitions, currencies, flight information, holidays, sunrise times, and unit conversions-plus more.
Google OneBox opens up a whole new world of Google results, results you won't want to miss. Given the right syntax as you type in the search bar, and you'll be delighted by what Google can do. Let's examine entertainment for example. Google is full of intimate information regarding any of your favorite movies, books, artists, etc. Type in (artist) movies, and an entire visual display of his/her movies complete with covers, names and release dates will appear and you can click on any one of them to learn more about it in the Knowledge Graph.
Want a quick and useful tidbit for when you find a movie you want to watch? Simply type in the name of the movie you want to see followed by the zip code to find local showtimes. If you're uncertain what you want to see, type in movie followed by the zip code and local showtimes with all movies playing will show up.
Struggling with a mathematical equation? Well, you don't even need to carry a calculator around with you anymore. You can just use Google. Google's calculator can handle both simple and complex calculations with just a search for the equation. Google's calculator is also entirely usable if you want to continue calculating. Google can also do simple graphs all the way up to 3D ones. And for your everyday queries, such as how many milliliters there are in a cup, Google shows you immediate results.
Google is brilliant when it comes to flights. Whether you're looking to book a flight or you're waiting for a flight to come in, you can track these flights right from the search bar. Look for the name of the airline followed by the flight number and you'll soon discover where the flight is right now, where it came from and when and where it's landing. Also search for "flights from (point A) to (point B) and enjoy a list of available flights complete with prices. You can do the same with driving. Try typing in your starting point to your destination and see what happens. It doesn't always work, but it can be fun to play around with it.
Google Plus Box
Google Plus Box results happen when you come across search listings with a little + symbol that when you click on it, the listing expands to show more information.
Google Knowledge Graph
Google Knowledge Graph rolled out earlier in 2012, and was big news even for Google itself. Google is molding more into a knowledge engine with the ability to know about pieces of data and their relationship with each other. The Knowledge Graph, initially, is a sidebar that will appear when Google knows what you're searching for. Knowledge Graph is Google's effort to understand the relationship between objects and pieces of data. Essentially, it's a knowledge base used to enhance search results with semantic-search information gathered from a network of sources.
The idea behind Google Knowledge Graph is that instead of users having to navigate to all kinds of different sites to get what they're looking for, users can construct the information themselves using the Knowledge Graph for quick and detailed information as well as links to various sites.
According to Google, this information is derived from many different sources, such as Wikipedia and Freebase, resulting in a service much like answer engines.
Google is equipped with an endless amount of facts, and you can oftentimes get instant answers to many of your questions, including information on diseases and medicine. You can also search for specific answers, such as, how tall is the Empire State Building? How big is Boise, Idaho?
Google is also good for getting instant word definitions as well as translations. Use Google Translate by typing in "translate (word) to (language)."
Find What You're Looking For
With over 570 million objects and more than 18 billion facts about the relationships between these objects and Google's ability to understand the meaning of keywords, Google's efficiency is not surprising. And now that you're more familiar with Google's mechanics, you can use it to make your life and your job that much easier.
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