23 Sep

7 Time Saving Google Search Tips

 

Google Search is arguably the most popular search engine in the world. For business users it has become the first port of call when they are looking for information on nearly anything and everything, and many of us use it on a daily basis. While we may find what we need, there are numerous tips and tricks to help you find what you are looking for quicker. Here are seven:

Search inside one site only

Oftentimes, we are looking for an article, words, page, or even image from one site. If you simply search for it on Google, you may find the site right away, but you will also see results from other sites. To narrow down the results a little, try using the search operator site:.

When using site: followed by a web address in the search bar (without a space), Google shows results for that site at the top of the results list. So, if you are looking for an article that has the keywords: ‘cloud technology’ on CNN, you can enter: site:cnn.com cloud technology.

Search for results based on a page’s title

If you are looking for a specific webpage, but don’t know the site it is on, you can use the operator: intitle: followed by keywords. This tells Search to look for webpages that contain the keywords in the title.

For example, if you are looking for a webpage that has the title: five cloud tips, you can search for it by entering: intitle: five cloud tips. Note, be sure to add a space between the operator and the keywords/titles.

Do two searches at once

Using an OR operator between two keywords tells Search to show results for both of the keywords at the same time. This can be useful for when you are looking to quickly compare two different ideas or topics.

The key to making this operator work is to make sure that OR (in capital letters) is between the two terms you are looking for, and separated by a space on both sides.

Exclude certain results or keywords

With many Google searches you will often see results for local businesses with a presence on Google first, or results related to your local area. While these can be useful, when you are looking for non-local results, it can take time to sort through these findings.

If you see that there are a number of results with keywords or terms that you are not interested in, then put a – (minus) in front of the term (without a space) e.g., -term, and Search will not show results containing that word.

Quickly find sites that link to yours (or another)

One of the key components of successful SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is link building – the concept of increasing links to and from your site. With Search’s various updates, Google is constantly changing the way sites are ranked and displayed in results. Businesses with websites need to ensure that the links they are using to direct to other content, or to bring people into their site are legitimate.

One quick way to see who links to your site is to use the Search operator: link:site.com. Simply enter link:yoursite.com, and Google will display results for all other sites and content that contain links to your site.

Fill in the blank searches

Looking for something where you know the first and last part of say the name, title, sentence, etc? You can use the Search operator * to help. The * (asterix) functions as what is called a wildcard, or unknown, operator. When used, it tells Search that you don’t know the words that are missing, and that you want Search to try and fill in the results.

Use quotes to search for exact terms

The way Search works is that when a set of keywords are entered with spaces, Search will return results that contain the words either separately or together in any order. If you know exactly what you are looking for, you can add double quotes (“) around the terms.

By using double quotes, Google will show results that only contain those exact words, in that order. While this is useful, longer sentences in quotes will return fewer results, so if you aren’t finding what you are looking for, try reducing the number of words inside the quotes.

If you are looking to learn more about Google Search, contact us today at 1-866-BIT-WISE to see how we can help.

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07 Jul

Google Slides app for Android released

Google Docs is becoming an increasingly popular tool for many business users, especially due to the fact that the solution offers a powerful suite of productivity apps like Docs and Slides. Earlier this year, these apps went mobile, with Google releasing standalone mobile versions of Docs and Sheets. The popular presentation creation app Slides was missing however, with Google explaining that it would be released ‘later’. Well, Google has delivered on their promise and released a Google Slides app for Android devices.

What exactly is the Google Slides app? I thought it was part of Google Drive…

As many who use Google Apps know, productivity apps like Slides, Docs, and Sheets are part of Google’s cloud storage app – Drive. If you have used the Drive app on your phone or tablet, you likely also know that you can create, edit, and share documents via this app.

This development is an effort to extend the capabilities of Drive, while simultaneously making it easier for users to access their individual files. For example, if you are a heavy user of Slides it can be a little annoying and time consuming to open the Drive app, search for the file you want, open it, and start editing. Now, if you have the app installed you can open it for immediate access to your related files, in this case Slides.

The key here is to think of the Slides app as a branch of the Google Drive App, as all of your files are still linked to Drive. Create a presentation using the Slides app and it will show up automatically on Google Drive as well as in the app. This app has all the same features as the Drive version, it is just that the app has been specifically written for mobile devices and designed for ease of use.

What can I do with this app?

As we stated above, the main focus of the Slides app is to allow you to create and edit presentations from your Android device. As such, there are a number of useful features:

The ability to create and edit presentations offline.
As long as you have accessed a Slides presentation while online, it will be made available for you to open and edit offline as well. You can also save individual presentations to your device’s hard drive and have the file updated when the presentation is.

Advanced sharing features.

You are able to share your presentation from a mobile device and have users on their devices or computers collaborate on the same file.

Automatic saving of presentations created and edited on the Web.
As long as you have an Internet connection, changes made to files via the app will be synced with Google Drive and reflect on all versions of the presentation. If you are offline, the changes will sync when you are next online.

The ability to open, edit, and save Microsoft PowerPoint presentations directly from the app.

This is a big feature, largely due to the fact that many businesses use PowerPoint instead of Slides. What this means for you is that you can view these files without PowerPoint installed on your device.

Full editing capabilities.
You are able to create slides, add text, edit slide order and the overall format of your text and slides.

Present directly from your device.
You can run presentations on your device or connect to a projector using adapters that can usually be purchased for your device.

Where can I find the Slides app?

This app is available now on Google Play. To install it you can:

  1. Open the Google Play app on your device.
  2. Press the magnifying glass and type in Google Slides.
  3. Tap on the app and select Install.
  4. Open the app when it has been installed.

When you open the app, you should see all of your slides related to your Google account pop up in the app.

If you are looking to learn more about Google’s apps on your Android device contact us today at 1-866-BIT-WISEto see how we can help ensure that you get the apps your business needs most.

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09 Feb

Heard the buzz about Java?

The security of the technical systems in an office is something many businesses take seriously. They want to be assured that the systems they run and the programs they use are secure. Many of the obvious programs are secure enough that keeping them updated will minimize over 90% of potential security threats. However, there is one program found on nearly every computer, regardless of OS, that has recently been ranked at high risk.

That program is Java – a programming language and application that allows developers to create web applications, and users to view much of the visual content and animations on the Internet. The problem isn’t with the programming language per se, but with the application developed by Oracle Systems.

Oracle released an update to Java – Java 7, Update 10 – in December, but it was found to have some serious security flaws. These issues were quickly spotted by hacker groups who released exploit kits – software making it easy to exploit Java 7′s security weaknesses – giving them full security privileges. This exposed any computer running Java 7 to potential malware and attack. Because Java runs at the browser level, every OS could be targeted. To make matters worse, 30 security flaws were patched back in September, after nearly 1 billion computers were found to be at risk.

It’s this string of security red flags that had the US Department of Homeland Security issue a warning that users should disable Java on their browsers. In response to this, Oracle updated Java again, to Java 7, Update 11 on January 12, and noted that the security flaw had been fixed. Many experts, including those at the Department of Homeland Security, aren’t convinced though, and are still suggesting that users disable Java because new vulnerabilities will likely be discovered.

 

How do I disable Java?

Chrome users

  1. Open Chrome and enter Chrome://plugins/ in a blank tab’s URL bar.
  2. Find Java (TM).
  3. Click Disable.
  4. Restart Chrome.

Firefox users

  1. Open Firefox and click Tools from the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  2. Select Add-ons followed by Plugins.
  3. Find the Java plug-in, it’s usually called Java Applet Plug-in (Mac) or Java(TM) (Windows) and click Disable.
  4. Close and restart Firefox.

Safari users

  1. Open Safari and click File followed by Preferences.
  2. Click the Security tab.
  3. Uncheck the box that says Enable Java.
  4. Close and restart Safari.

Internet Explorer users

There is no way for you to disable Java in the browser, you will instead have to completely disable Java from your computer. This can be done by following the steps on the Java website.

If you do disable Java, some websites will no longer work. This can be a bit of an annoyance, but in all honesty, security of your systems is more important, not to mention the potential costs of dealing with a massive malware infection. Besides that, many websites no longer use Java, so you can probably get by without it. At the very least, we recommend you go download the latest update from the Java website and apply it to all computers.

One issue that we need to be clear on is that these security flaws are part of the Java plug-in. You may see something called JavaScript. While the name sounds similar, they are different. JavaScript is largely used in HTML documents, and allows them to function, and is secure. If you do run across it, it’s best to leave the script alone.

If you would like to learn more about this update, you can visit an excellent FAQ here. Before you do update, or disable Java, we recommend you contact us. We can help advise you on what steps to take next if you use Java.

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