Monthly Archives: May 2012

Help Google Find Your Business

Local Internet Search

Rapid growth means Portishead is filling up with business people. With young families and demanding jobs, they tend to be cash rich and time poor.

local search result pointer "A" on unfolded mapWhen such people want something, Google is probably their first port of call.

They may well search using a mobile phone or tablet. Tablets are becoming more popular with businesses. These devices announce their location to search engines, which list local results higher, when appropriate.

Google Places

With Google Places you can promote your business using a free web page. It doesn’t take very long and it’s easy to make your business stand out from the crowd.

On your Google Places page you can,

  • describe your business and your unique selling proposition (USP);
  • display up to ten photos of your products, people, shop, anything really;
  • state your opening hours and payment options.

More important, you can choose the categories in which your business will be listed. Google will list your business whenever someone searches for them around your location.

Get Started

It’s dead easy: go to the Google Places home page and log in using any Google account. If you don’t have one, we’ve more advice here.

How to Search Web Pages

Many People Don’t Know this Search Tip

a pair of binoculars useful for searchingIt seems that only 10% of Internet users know this productivity tip.

I can’t believe so many people don’t know about Ctrl_F. However, this blog is all about helping Internet users get the most out of it, so an explanation might be helpful.

Back in November 2011, Google’s usability guru, Dan Russell, provides the evidence, reported in New Scientist report.

His stunning observation: only 10% of Internet users know about every browsers’ Find function, Ctrl-F.  Not just web browsers, actually, it works in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and other products, and the free equivalents of Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird and its calendar, Lightening. In fact it’s always worth a try – except, sadly, in Microsoft Outlook itself, where it means Forward (an email).

How to Search Web Pages

Want to find a word or phrase in a long web page without reading the whole thing?  Here’s what you do:

  1. Click in the body of the web page you want to search;
  2. Hold down the Control key, labelled Ctrl, bottom left of your keyboard;
  3. Press F, for Find, and type what you’re looking for in the field that appears.

Windows users write this as “Ctrl-F” or “Control-F.”  Mac users write “Command-F” instead.

search box in google chromeHere’s how it looks in Google Chrome.

Note also the “1 of 3” to the  right of the search phrase. This shows that we’ve found the first “Portishead” on the page, and that there are three altogether.  Press the down arrow to the right to go to the next, up arrow to go back.

search field in Mozilla Firefox

In Firefox, the search field appears under the window when you press Ctrl-F.

Firefox doesn’t have a count, like Chrome, but if you click “Highlight all,” they become quite obvious. It also has a “Match case” function.

search field in internet exporer 9

In Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9, the search field appears at the top left of the screen.  It combines the options of Firefox with the count of Chrome.