How To Use A Search Engine

How To Use A Search Engine Image

Anyone who has a means of communication with the world should at least know what a search engine is, but many are unsure exactly how to use a search engine. In fact, several people who work in the technology industry may not even know how to use a search engine to it’s full extent.

By now you should have read about how search engines work and what search engines are most used. The next step to better understand search engine optimization best practices is to fully understand how to use a search engine. 

What Kinds of Searches Can You Perform on A Search Engine?

You may be thinking why in the world am I wasting my time learning how to perform a search on a search engine. The truth is most of you know how to enter a search query and perform a search on Google, but you may not know all of the different kinds of basic searches.

At the very basic of any search engine is the traditional listings like you see in the image below. The traditional search will return 10 organic listings on each page and we highlighted a portion of them in the image below.

traditional search on Google image

Different Kinds of Searches

Over the past several years search engines have evolved to include other types of results within a standard search.

This includes search results like…


The Google Images feature launched July 21st, 2001 with access to 250 million images. When someone performs a standard search Google will frequently display relevant images within the traditional search results without even clicking the images tab. If a searcher would like to display just images they can simply click on the images tab.

Google Image Search Photo


Google video search allows you to find videos from YouTube, websites, and other video sharing sites within a single search. Google will also add videos that are relevant to a users search query  within the traditional search results. When Google purchased YouTube the video results page heavily favored YouTube videos. 

Google Video Search Image

News Articles

In September of 2002 Google launched a new featured that allowed 4000 news resources to submit news feeds to Google so they could display them within the traditional results. Google at this time also added the News tab on their website. 

Google News Results Page Example

Local Business Listings

In March of 2004 Google started listing local businesses in their index that included directions and maps. This would open a whole new arena for small businesses to compete online and use search engines to drive customers through their doors. This feature later became part of Google maps and Google+ local. 

Google Local Search Example Image


In March of 2005 Google Maps was introduced and the main purpose was for directions, business listing’s, and for visitors to simply search and explore the maps for fun. Developers took this technology and created hundreds of applications available for personal and government use. Every business should list their physical address with contact information on Google Maps so users can quickly find them. 

Google Maps Search Example Image

Google Shopping or Google Product Listings 

In December of 2002 Google launched a new search engine called Froogle that was developed for business product listings so users could quickly shop on the web. This service was eventually scrapped and instead called Google Product Search. In the summer of 2012 Google announced that businesses will now have to bid to be placed first in the product listings similar to how Google Adwords works. 

Google Product Search Example Image

Knowledge Graph

In May of 2012 Google started rolling out what they are calling the Knowledge Graph or next generation of search. The three things included in this sidebar graphic is a quick description or background about the search query, relevant links based off of contextual meanings, information boxes that provide even more information about the search query. 

Google Knowledge Graph Example Image

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