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Are you searching effectively?

by Brian Steeves 03 Apr 2018

When your searches come back empty, it's time to re-think your request.

Google's search engines receive an average of 3.5 BILLION requests each day.  That's 40,000 search queries per second!  Google has become synonymous with "finding the answer"... mostly.  But sometimes the answers we get aren't exactly what we were hoping for.  Sometimes the results are funny, sometimes not so much. 

Here's a great illustration of a bunch of people finding (or not finding) what they're looking for.

When it comes to industrial hardware, there are very few generally accepted conventions for component names.  Engineering terms aside, manufacturers have the ability to "name" a component whatever they want (which they usually do) in the hopes of building a brand.  For example, Southco's 91 series under-center draw latches are called "Vantage Down-Under Latches".  They provide neither a unique vantage point nor are they made in Australia.  Southco surely isn't the only manufacturer that does this.  The problem is that the end user of the RV/Truck/Boat/Toolbox doesn't likely know this name, so finding it is especially difficult, even with Google to help you comb the vast landscape of the world wide web.

Here are some strategies you can use to find things more easily online. 

If you know the part number. try that first.  If that yields no usable results, try adding the manufacturer's name to the search. 

Example: "Southco 19-51-10"

Using descriptions works too!  Try using descriptive language, like the materials in the product, where it's used, or the brand name of the product it's used in.  Sometimes, this will get you started even without a part number.

Examples: "SeaDoo" or "Plastic" or "Swell latch"

Be creative!  Try alternate words or descriptions. Sometimes what you call a "latch" is also known as a "catch".  A "keeper" can also be called a "strike", depending on the manufacturer.  Once you start getting results with wider search parameters, then you can start to narrow your search by adding details, colors, and other specific details to your search.

Use Operators. You can ask Google to include or consider some words in the search by using words like AND and OR in your search.  You can also use quotation marks ("") which tells Google to 'find exactly this'.  

Don't forget, the internet was made by people.  Products on websites were added by human beings who make spelling mistakes, forget to add tags or add symbols and dashes all over the place.  Typos and spelling errors are common.  If you think you're on the right page, but can't find what you're looking for, try looking for a phone number and do your search the old-fashioned way: by speaking with a human being.

Good luck in your search!


For more information on making your queries more efficient, check out Google's resource page!  Click here to see more


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