How to use Google to help you in your networking efforts

Google can be a great ally in your networking efforts. But few people know all the features this website offers. But let’s first start with the basics.

Have you ever been told “I Googled you yesterday?” As you might guess, this means that he typed your name in Google to see what is written about you on the web. Did you already Google yourself? No? Do it. You might be surprised!

Also “Google” other people. People who are already in your network or people who you have an appointment with for the first time. Google might provide you with excellent background information.

Everybody knows Google from its search engine. But there are more free tools that can help you in your networking efforts: 
Google Toolbar for your web browser. No need to go to the website of Google anymore. Just put in your search in the box in the toolbar.
Google Desktop Search: you can’t find a document or file about one of your networking contacts anymore on your PC? Then this tool can help you out.
Google Print: search the full text of books (http://print.google.com
Google Scholar: search in scholarly papers (http://scholar.google.com)
Search features: several aids to search the web faster and get better and more personalised results (www.google.com/help/features.html)

You can find an overview of these extra tools on: www.google.com/options

There are many other tools like maps, satellite pictures, translation tools, currency converters, calculators, weather forecasts and photograph editors available. And Google keeps inventing and testing them in their lab (http://labs.google.com/) . So visit these pages on a regular basis to find out how your online (networking) ventures can be made easier.

Lots of these options are conveniently gathered on one page by a company called Soople (www.soople.com). You can even create your own personalised version of this “dashboard”!

One of the alternatives for Google as a search engine is Dogpile (www.dogpile.com) This is a meta search engine, meaning that it is not a search engine itself, but that it groups several search engines like Google, MSN, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves.

Use these tools to help you prepare your online networking efforts and your attendance at networking events!

To your success !

Jan

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