Searching for something random or obscure on the Internet can be a daunting task if you don’t know how to make your searches more efficient. Even though today’s search engines use sophisticated algorithms and location based searching to help you find what you are looking for, sometimes those features can get in the way.

Here are 8 tips provided by Joe Kissell (@joekissell) from PCworld.com to improve your searching experience.

1. Search for a phrase If you’re searching for an exact phrase, e.g. a quote from a movie or book, surround your search with quotation marks. Instead of the boy jumped, you would type “the boy jumped”.

2. Be more specific Always give as many details as you know about your questions. Want to know how to create a folder in Windows 8? Don’t just search for create a folder, search create a folder Windows 8 PC.

3. Exclude a word If you are searching for information about eagles, but don’t want the NFL team bogging down your search, put a hyphen in front of terms that should disqualify a page from appearing in Google’s results. For example, Eagles –NFL –Football -Philadelphia

4. Use your own words If you visit Google.com in the Google Chrome browser, you can click the microphone icon on the right side of the search field and speak what you want to search for. Google then transcribes your voice and searches for you. This works on mobile devices as well.

5.Try an advanced search If you want even more control over your search, try Google’s Advanced Search page. This menu offers features to narrow your search down by location, numbers, file types, etc.

6. Convert, calculate and more Google can also handle calculations, currency conversions, time-zone conversions, definitions and a plethora of other great things you may have never thought of.

7. Learn from the source Check out Google’s Basic search help and Tips and Tricks to find great tricks and shortcuts you can use while in Google.

8. Use another search engine If Google isn’t returning the results you want, try another engine such as Bing, Yahoo, and ask.com Give these new tricks a try the next time you log onto your PC or phone to see what new information you can find on the Internet.

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