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The Art of Googling

lauragift21 profile image Gift Egwuenu Originally published at giftegwuenu.com Updated on ・4 min read

Inspired by this article from localghost.dev, I've decided to write mine but with a twist. In this article, I'll be outlining some tips for improving your googling skills and also share the things that I've googled in the past week as a Software Engineer. This should be interesting right let's find out!

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Google serves as a large database for every information you need in the world. You can find anything on there regardless if it is related to tech or not. In our case, I'll be focusing on the tech aspect of this topic. I have been a developer now for almost 3 years and one thing that I know is that I don't know everything. As a developer in my daily work life, I tend to seek answers from Google, I look up how to write a specific syntax or even check the meaning of an array. This information is available to me and it is normal to look up things I'm not certain of or seek help if I encounter a bug. One of the key skills you need as a developer is the ability to effectively search for a solution to a problem or error.

Helpful Tips For Improving Your Googling Skills

  • Using the wildcard asterisk (*): This is a recent trick I learned when searching for answers with a specific error. You can copy the entire error to google search and get a few results related because you added some keys specific to your app. But to get the best results, you can edit that and add the asterisk wildcard to your search and this will improve your result and give you precise answers to what you need.

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  • Using a specific domain: Adding a specific domain can also help you refine your result when searching on google. If you know the specific site to search i.e Stack Overflow. You can append the site name site: sitename to your search so it returns results only from that site.

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  • Use Good Keywords: Finding results tailored to your search depends on what kind of keyword you use. When searching, include a keyword that is closely related to the problem you are searching (e.g JavaScript, Array Methods, etc).

  • Search for Titles using intitle, Text using intext: You can refine your search to only return texts or titles from a specific site. This will help drill down the result to return exactly what you're searching for. When searching for title you can use intitle as a prefix and intext: for text in the body of the site.

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What I Googled in the Past Week

Now that I have covered some tips to help you improve your googling skills, I'll now share some terms I googled in the past week.

Monday

  • Filter an Array with JavaScript - I was working on a chore and needed to see how the filter method works
  • Free Screen Recording software - I needed this badly
  • What does Egwuenu stand for (I honestly don't know what happened here)

Tuesday

  • Nano-degree Scholarship - thought of the possibility of getting one and lost interest when I saw the price
  • Take a screenshot on Mac
  • Center a div with Grid

Wednesday

  • Amazon Logo SVG
  • Minify SVG - Trying to reduce the size of an SVG image
  • Deploy Nuxt to Azure - looking up an article I wrote
  • Undo a git commit

Thursday

  • Add breakpoint Visual Studio Code
  • Azure subscription disabled - trying to figure out why my azure app was down
  • Clearing errors for expo ios - I was having issues with react native app
  • Embed open collective backers

Friday

  • Adding Data to a React Native App
  • Debugging React Native App
  • Virtualized List: Missing keys for items
  • Grid with React Native - checking if this was a thing with React Native
  • Gridsome docs

Conclusion

The idea for writing this is to show you that not every developer is a 10x engineer. We all look up and Google things at one point or the other and I also read somewhere that it's better to know what and how to Google than to spend time cramming. I can tell you I know what googling skills can do for you in your career once you master that art but I'll let you figure it out yourself and you will be glad you did.

Closing this article with a meme I found on Google (get it? 😉)

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Originally Published on my blog

Discussion

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chrisachard profile image
Chris Achard

Nice tips and neat look into what you searched for in a week :)

I definitely agree that "how to google" is a skill that is really important to learn as a developer... properly using keywords to get the right answer is sometimes an art. Thanks for the post!

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Christine Zierold

Thanks for sharing your insights and I definitely agree with your conclusion.
My favourite google search hack is "the – Operator". It is very helpful if a keyword is also used outside of the technology field, for example.

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espoir profile image
Espoir Murhabazi

Good stuff sister!
I like the intext one.

There is another favorite tip I use sometimes which helps to include or exclude a word from the search.

Maybe you can add it, more Infos here

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu Author

Thanks Espoir!

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eitland profile image
Erik Vårdal Itland

I wrote a similar post back in August: erik.itland.no/a-few-tricks-for-se...

Added a link to you since I had forgotten to mention / never learned a couple of your tricks (and for what it is worth there are also a few others in my post that aren't mentioned here.)

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu Author

Thanks for sharing Erik! I will check out yours to find more gems :)

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ryanoc profile image
Ryan Connolly

Great, I broke google :(

Great, I broke google

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Gift Egwuenu Author

Haha this is hilarious 😆

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Christian Gröber

I'm seriously considering teaching this stuff to my scout group (I'm a scout leader). Sure, we teach them how to knot properly or how to cook on a fire, but they just can't google, even though that's such an important skill in today's world (My little brother once asked me something, I didn't know the answer so I told him "Google it" and he just typed his question into the searchbar!)

Soo yeah, anyways, thanks a lot, especially for the "intext:" and "site:" tip, that's actually super helpful.

As for the asterisk one, I just always delete any custom names and it works fine.

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu Author

Yes do it! I think this is not just meant for only technical folks. Everyone needs to know how to use google.

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mroeling

Don't forget the must-include option, adding double quotes (") around the obligated keyword.

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Elie Vangu

I’m pretty happy to be a SEO since 2009 and a ReactJS developper for 2 years now and i tell you it helps 😊

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kidkkr profile image
kidkkr

Out of curiousity, I've found that intext query searches only texts in body tag.
spyfu.com/blog/google-search-opera...
Thanks for the post!

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lauragift21 profile image
Gift Egwuenu Author

Thanks for sharing the link. I understand Intitle searches the title and intext searches text within the body. Updated the article to reflect that.

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Matheus Dias Vieira

This is amazing, thanks for sharing!

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Silvija Prozinger

Great tips, thank you for sharing! For us beginners it's rather comforting to know that even professionals have to use the good ol' Google sometimes 😃

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adesunloye Adeola

Nice article and well written!

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Sarah Chima

Great tips Gift!!! Thanks for sharing.

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Victor Ayodeji Ogundola

Great read. Thanks for the tips.

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Adetunji Adegbite

Nice article. I have been using some of this tips not even knowing they officially exist. Now time to research.

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Vikram Sahu

That's awesome. I just tried site and intext one
Loved it!

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Gift Egwuenu Author

Awesome! Thanks glad you found them helpful.

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Ebenezer Oladutemu

I read this on your blog. Couldn't agree more! Totally good read. Thanks Gift