research / writers resources / writing

Tips For Internet Searching: How to Sound Like an Expert


Photo credit: Danard Vincente

One of the most important trait a writer offers to his/her readers is authenticity. Right?  Who wants to read the rants of the guy down the street you try to avoid every time you walk your dog. Why waste your time on the opinions of the neighborhood nut who answers his door with a gun (I lived next door to one of those). In the wild frontier of the internet, you don’t know who you’re talking to. They can be anyone.

The way to transcend that level of anonymity is by presenting well thought-out information, with data and backup, which means writers must be experts at finding information.

So, you set out to write your article. You realize you don’t know enough about your topic, say ‘Cost of Government Day’ (which is today, by the way). So you Google it–and get 5500 hits. You don’t have time to read over five thousand articles that are as likely to be by an expert as by the crazy neighbor I mentioned. (Another BTW–if you’re interested in Cost of Government Day: Last year it was July 16th. This year it’s August 12th. What’s that tell you about the cost of running our government. But I digress.)

Here are some of my favorites tips on how to Google like an expert:

  • Use quotes around phrases so they are searched as a single word. “Cost of Government Day” gives 5500 huts. Cost of Government Day (without the quotes) gives 134 million
  • Add words to the string to be more specific, using +. For Example, “Cost of Government Day”+growing limits hits to 703
  • To get an answer to the question, Cost of Government is, add an asterisk and Google answers the question (like this: “Cost of government is *”)
  • Use Google’s Wonder Wheel for general information. It’s new on Google, but provides connections you may not have thought about. It’s under ‘show options’.
  • The one that worked the best for this topic was the timeline (also under ‘show options’). What an eye opener!
  • Here are more:



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