Search Engines – Not Just For Finding Websites Any More

Spring 2011 CSANews Issue 78  |  Posted date : May 06, 2011.Back to list

It used to be that you only went to a search engine to find a website. Well, not any more! Now, search engines offer many different features.

Google (www.google.com) is arguably the most popular search engine on the Internet. It has become so popular that it has become a verb – often, you'll hear someone telling someone to "Google it." But many others, including Bing (www.bing.com) and Yahoo! (www.yahoo.ca) are offering some of the same features. You'll usually find links to these features either along the top or along the right-hand side of the home page.

The Web feature is exactly what it implies - it's for searching for websites. The search engine will provide you with the most likely match for your search.

Google has an added feature - the "I'm feeling lucky" button. Put in your search criteria and press this button, and Google will automatically send you to the first website on the list. If you're lucky, it'll be the perfect one for you!

The Images feature will help you find images related to your keyword. You can often also specify the type, size or colour of the image that you need. Click on the image to either see where it came from, or for a full-size view of that image.

Videos can be searched according to length, content, resolution and source -although admittedly, most of the links will direct you to YouTube!

The Maps functions are great for either finding a location or (for those of you who don't have a GPS device) directions. You can look at a map using either a street view or a satellite - or "bird's eye" - view.

Google, as part of their "Google Earth" project, has famously sent cars travelling all over North America to take images so that they can offer a "street view" - it looks like you're standing in the street looking at the address you entered.

The News features of search engines offer a good way to get a more rounded view of a news story. Different newscasts may have different perspectives and different information; the News feature can give you a more comprehensive view.

Search engines are trying to make online Shopping easier for you, too! Plug in your product and they'll show you different sites at which to buy it, and the approximate cost. Again, customization is key - you can specify brand, rate category and other features, depending on what you're looking for.

So, whether you're searching for something to look at, somewhere to go or something to buy, search engines can help you find more information and get more out of life.