Technology Director

Technology Tips from Blair Seawell AGSD's Director of Technology

How to Use Your Googler

I’ve noticed in my experience with the Technology position and people using the internet that not everyone seems to realize how powerful the ol’ Googler really is. I, like many of you, come from a time where the repository of human knowledge was called a library and our search engine was the Dewey Decimal System.

Technology has evolved and our capacity for finding and using information has been boosted by an exponential rate. Add youtube and other video hosting services and you have nearly the entire spectrum of human knowledge at your fingertips. In this article, I’ll be sharing some tips on how to use your Googler to find the information you need.

Tip #1: Be Specific

Being specific about what you’re looking for will greatly increase your chances of successfully finding the information you’re searching for. Give the Googler all the information you have. Search with the exact make, model and year of the product you’re looking for. Often I will google an entire question, exactly how I would ask it in person. Give it a try next time you’re looking for information.

Tip #2 Weed Out The Ads

If you search any old thing in the universe using a search engine, advertisements will be among your first few results. Sometimes this is helpful if, for instance, you’re looking to buy something. More often than not, however, it’s a reseller or an unsavory attempt to get at your information. If I google the word “motorcycle,” my first two results have the word “Ad” next to them in bold type. The next site is also trying to sell me a motorcycle. This isn’t where we want to be. It isn’t until the fourth result that I get the wikipedia definition of the word. Even if you’re shopping, use an established shopping site like Amazon, Ebay or You could also look for the website of the maker of the product you’re looking for. Instead of searching for “printers,” search for HP printers or go to the HP website. That will make your searching go much more smoothly.

Tip #3 Troubleshooting

If you’re troubleshooting something like a car, a computer or printer, chances are, someone else has had the same question or problem and has already gotten help on the internet. Look for error codes, flashing lights or anything else that can narrow down the problem and put them into your search. Tons of product manuals can be found on the internet so if you can’t find someone listing out the exact problem and the solution, you can find the exact manual for the product and search for information that way.

Tip #4 Find The Video

If you’re a visual learner or don’t have time to read through all of the information out there on a particular subject, you can click the videos option on the Google search. This will show all the videos that come up from a search using those keywords. If you’re looking to learn how to do something, this is one of the best things to try.

As always, it is my hope that you will find these tips helpful. The internet is truly an amazing tool and the search engine is how we navigate it. Its power can be better harnessed if you have the right tools.