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How to Do Better Research Online with Google Tools


Guest post by Darko.
There are some neat Google tools (besides Google Search) that can help you become a better researcher online. You see, when you use Google to search, you can encounter several problems that will really limit the amount of information you can get for that topic.

#1 Explore an Unknown Topic with ‘Related Searches’

Let’s say you want to learn more about neuroeconomics. You’ve heard that term in some book (lately, neuroscience books have been very popular, with Freakonomics being a best-selling book) and want to learn more.

So you type ‘neuroeconomics’ in Google. And you get relevant results. So what? You already know the definition of the term and what it means. What you need here is closely related items, items that match very closely with neuroeconomics. You want to learn more about the topic, but don’t know what keywords to type. The solution?

Under “Show search tools” on the left side in Google you have “Related searches”:

Related Search

Whoa! Daniel Kahneman? Neuroeconomics blog? Behavioral economics = neuroeconomics? You just became aware of tons of extremely related terms. Now you have a solid grasp of this topic.

#2 Explore a more narrow topic with Wonder Wheel

Neuroeconomics is a very broad topic. There are thousands of books, blogs, authors and research behind it. What about some narrower topic? Let’s say you want to learn more about the Beatles. Now, if you were using traditional search, you would type “Beatles”, go to their Wikipedia page, learn more about their history and so on. But why not make it more fun!

Let’s use Google Wonder Wheel (you can find it under “Show search tools” and then clicking on “Wonderwheel”):

Google wonder wheel

So now you have 8 potential things you probably wanted to know about the Beatles. On the right side you have search results for the keyword you’re searching for. I would say that Google is trying to read your brain while using Wheel :) Say you wanted to learn more about Beatles albums:

Google Wonder Wheel

Oh, maybe a Beatles album list would been a better keyword to type? What about a chronological order of their albums? While using Wonder Wheel, I’m pretty sure you’ll have those ‘oh, this is a better keyword to find this’ moments.

#3 Explore EVEN MORE related keywords with Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Google AdWords Keyword Tool is invented for advertisers for better targeting ads. So if an advertiser was selling necklase and typed that word into the Keyword Tool, he’ll get a closely related keywords to that term. You can use this tool as well to get a very good idea of the topic you’re exploring.

Say you were looking to get a credit card but didn’t know what’s the best keyword to type. You type ‘credit cards’ but dont’ get the desired results. What if we typed ‘credit cards’ into Google Keyword tool?

Adwords Results

We can now see what people are looking for, many look for 0 APR and cards with 0 interest, and if you want to apply, ‘apply for credit card online’ might be the best keyword to type. Now, if you scroll down below you’ll see even more related searches, including some credit card companies, great keywords to get reviews and so on.

If you’re exploring a topic you aren’t very familiar with, using these tools can give you a huge edge over the average searcher.

Guest author Darko writes on FinderMind.com, and his latest post is on 25 Free People Search Engines for locating people online. You can also share your Google tips and write guest posts here.

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