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5 ways to get better search results, without turning to AI - The Washington Post

Last updated Wednesday, February 15, 2023 09:05 ET , Source: NewsService

Big changes are coming soon to the search engines you use daily. They will push out AI-powered search results that chew up existing sources of information on the web and spit out more conversational, summarized and sometimes incorrect responses.

Microsoft unveiled its new Bing at a big event in February and has made the ChatGPT-powered search engine available as a beta to a select number of people, with a waitlist to test it out. Google recently previewed its own take on AI chatbot results called Bard, though it will not be available to the public until a later date.

But what problem is AI-search technology trying to solve? One seems to be giving a single pat answer to what is traditionally multiple time-consuming searches, letting you ask questions naturally instead of using existing search shorthand and tricks. They also build on something search engines have already been doing, excerpting the most essential parts of existing content to save you a click. For example, you can skip right to the recipe for a killer oatmeal cookie recipe buried under lengthy personal stories about the baker’s childhood.


For now, most people are still doing their searches the old fashioned way. Here’s how you can search better using what you already have, until something better comes along.

There are a ton of old-school tricks you can use to make your searches more effective. These shortcuts, including search operators, have been around for as long as Google. Most people...

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