Help with Google searches

Improve Your Search Skills and be a Better Problem Solver

I’ve been helping a client develop an interesting app that I believe will be a huge success in the niche he’s focused on.  One of the features he wants is the ability to do peer-to-peer video calls from within his app.  And he wants it to be a free video service.  I’m sure you’re familiar with doing video calls via FaceTime, Hangouts, Zoom, etc.  They’re all free (or have free versions) and work fairly well but don’t integrate into my client’s app.  If you’re familiar with developing a video service, you know it’s not for the faint of heart.  It’s technically challenging and not cheap.  So how did I help my client solve his problem?  Simple – I opened up my “tool kit” of search tools and got to work.  Below are a list of the Google tricks I used to solve my client’s problem.  Note that while my example is based on a technical problem, the search tips below are great for doing competitive research too.

If you’re starting a business, already have one or you’re a product manager, you’re guaranteed to run into a problem where you don’t have an answer and need to find one.

Having strong search skills to solve problems can be the difference between success and failure.  Here are 6 simple tricks using Google that will improve your search skills and effectiveness.

There’s a good chance you’ve used Google before.  But how effectively are you doing Google searches?  As a “warm-up” or first step to doing your search, if you begin from Google’s site, Google will automatically pre-load your search results with similar keywords.  This can be a great way to quickly find related terms on the topic you’re searching for.

Here are 5 simple tips to improve your Google search:

  1. Add Wiki: Enter “topic wiki” to get results from wiki’s, i.e. “web app wiki
  2. Add Blog: Enter “topic blog” to get results from blog’s, i.e. “web app blog
  3. Add Forum: Enter “topic forum” to get results from forum’s, i.e. “web app forum
  4. Add “site:”: Enter “ topic” to get results from that site, i.e. “ web app“. QuoraReddit and Youtube are good sites to search for information.  Note: doing searches directly in those sites can yield different results than from Google so give both ways a try.
  5. Add “vs”: Enter “topic vs” and Google will automatically pre-load the search with alternative terms.  For instance, if you type “topic web app vs“, Google will show about 10 items that are associated with “web app”.

While the 5 tips above are great for helping you search for answers when solving a problem, they can also help you with researching competitors.

A 6th simple trick to also help you do competitive research is using “related:” in your Google search, ie. ““.  This will result in a list of companies that Google associates with which is a powerful way to help find competitors.

These 6 simple and powerful tricks can increase your effectiveness when you’re doing Googles searches.  Regarding my client, after starting with a “vanilla” search on peer-to-peer video call, I found a key word (WebRTC) which led me to Tokbox and then to a Gruveo thread in forums.  Within 30-minutes I was able to find the technology  (Gruveo) to solve my client’s problem.  Now I just need to prototype it in Bubble to demonstrate feasibility.  This is another example why Product Manager’s should have Bubble in their tool kit; powerful, quick, effective – and free.

In summary, there are a few tips you can use in your Google searches that will make you more effective.  You don’t have a lot of time and you already work hard.  These tips will help you work smarter to find solutions to your problems quicker and achieve success.  Best wishes!

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