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Power searching with Google

Posted on December 24, 2012 by Active

So I’ve recently been called the ‘research whiz kid’ here at the office, and while I was supposed to gladly show the team how to yield better search results on Google, I thought I’d offer some advice here as well. Let me start by mentioning that I took an online course last summer that was offered by Google, for free, over the course of four weeks – Power Searching with Google.

Lessons, assessments, and activities took place three times a week by a Google search expert, and upon passing the final assessment a printable certificate would be emailed. The course was very informative, I learnt new methods of searching which eventually saved me time and effort of having to endlessly browse for that one suitable search result. It wasn’t too technical either, and the presenter managed to develop my interest in what would otherwise have been the equivalent of a boring lecture in my senior year at university (which was literally last April, yep time flies). I did pass the course, and until today I refer back to the methods that I learnt on how to effectively conduct a search. Luckily, I found the below tips on the Internet – they’re practically a wrap up of the entire course, so DO check them out because it’s really worth it!

Hope you find these useful!

Google: Certificate of Completion


Google Search Tips

  1. Explicit Phrase: Let’s say you are looking for content about internet marketing.  Instead of just typing internet marketing into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase. To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes. Example: “internet marketing”
  2. Exclude Words: Let’s say you want to search for content about internet marketing, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term advertising.  To do this, simply use the “-” sign in front of the word you want to exclude. Example Search: internet marketing –advertising
  3. Site Specific Search: Often, you want to search a specific website for content that matches a certain phrase.  Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the “” modifier. Example: “internet marketing”
  4. Similar Words and Synonyms: Let’s say you want to include a word in your search, but want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms.  To do this, use the “~” in front of the word. Example: “internet marketing” ~professional
  5. Specific Document Types: If you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier “filetype:”.  For example, you might want to find only PowerPoint presentations related to internet marketing. Example: “internet marketing” filetype:ppt
  6. This OR That: By default, when you do a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search.  If you are looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator.  (Note: The OR has to be capitalized). Example: internet marketing OR advertising
  7. Word Definitions: If you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the “define:” command. Example: define:plethora

Source/Read more by clicking here.

The current status of my brain

Posted on December 17, 2012 by Active

Given that I am in the process of learning and comprehending new processes and procedures, being introduced to new clients in a new market, and too many relatively new things (after 15 days of working at Active PR), I felt I wanted to show appreciation and some sympathy to this little organ inside my head, my brain!

The appreciation goes for the endless processes of controlling, coordinating and processing an incredible number of tasks and massive amount of information throughout my entire life, which is not that short by the way. Whatever milestones I have accomplished in my life are more or less the result of my brain’s analysis and interpretation of the facts and realities around me. The results have been somewhat satisfactory, but of course an upgrade is always needed!. To be realistic though, I have to say that there have been way too many challenging moments where the processing function of my brain has been interrupted by either new or complex data that were difficult to configure, so the output has not necessarily been satisfactory or as expected. Exams, math and chemistry assignments, learning new language at a non-young age are only few examples where my brain was telling me ‘STOP’ I cannot do it anymore, or I do not want to do it anymore, it is not what I want to do or like to do. Sometimes I listen, sometimes not. This is part of the challenge I try to push my brain to experience. It is part of its development, it must go through it!.
Sometimes, this little poor thing is capable and wants to do things but the intensity of data received within a limited period of time is a bit beyond its normal base. This is when my brain does not ask me to stop, but continues to process data with complete absence of any sort of control and this is literally how it does it:

  • Mix names, letters, numbers and everything. This is when the coordination function is over-relaxed. A name of something would be attached to another thing and filed on a different planet. Once asked about it, my brain instantly asks: what is this?! Never heard of it!
  • Go blind on things that were written down in order to remember and act on. This is when the wires between the eyes and brain are definitely cut off!
  • Pose for 30..50..120 seconds after every question as the recalling function does not know in which corner of the brain the information is stored (if stored!)

Those are only few examples of the party currently inside my head. I keep telling my brain you will eventually be able to re-wire all cells and sort all incoming data and you will do it just fine! It is only a matter of time! (I hope!). Ok..and that’s me (Rawan’s brain) in action.

Rawan's brain in action

Let there be music

Posted on December 10, 2012 by Active

Let me be upfront and admit that I had no idea whatsoever of the very existence of some of the musicians that do the rounds at Active PR, figuratively speaking of course. So, okay, Rhianna and Usher may not entirely be from another planet. But Labyrinth, Drake, J. Cole, Psy or whoever those fascinating creatures are? Oh well, guess you live and learn.

At the risk of sounding totally uncool and way older than my age (ahem), my music tastes hover in the decades spanning the fifties to the eighties – with some vintage nineties thrown in now and then. Don’t know what’s scarier, the fact that nineties music is now considered “vintage” or that a couple of my colleagues were actually born in the nineties!

So when I waltzed my way in to Active PR, where everyone aspires to be a 24/7 in-house DJ, honesty seemed like the best policy. It was better to come clean after a few vague conversations like:

“So Ketaki – ‘Do Take Care’?”

“Thanks! Er, why?”

They probably thought I wasn’t the brightest bulb in the socket. And I thought they had lost it when they broke into the Gangnam Style horse trot at the end of a long, adrenalin-fueled day.

Cut to a few weeks later and after a concerted team effort, yours truly can now spew out a few cool names and catch phrases under dire circumstances. It still is mostly Latin and Greek, but they’ve prepped me enough so I can nod and hum along. All said and done, it has been an entertaining, eye-opening way to get to know the wonderful team at Active PR.

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