A day does not go by that I do not use Google. Gmail, Search, Chat, Docs, Custom Search Engines, Profiles, Buzz… they’re all something I use every single work day, and to be honest on the weekends too. And with the good comes the bad. I also daily have to verify that I’m not a computer – you’ll get that if you run any reasonable volume of searches online. It’s sort of become the bane of a researcher’s life lately.
But as a researcher and recruiting professional, why do I like this site so much?
- It’s cloud-worthy. I’ve noted it before in this blog, but now in my new company sharing documents is more important than ever and having the ability to do that securely via Google documents when we are virtual office mates? Huge. I hate emailing massive spreadsheets and whatnot and certainly don’t need to lose real estate on my pc to them. But it’s not just work, it’s now happening with all of my volunteer gigs as well. It’s nice to see more people seeing the value of this feature.
- Google web search has some amazing features and idiosyncratic syntax. I’m not going to list them out – it’d be an e-book. Go to a training class. Live training versus canned gives you a current look into the belly of the beast.
- I’ve used Google to create an introduction. Seriously. I just met face-to-face someone that has been on my “Chat with… now” list in Google for 2, maybe 3 years. She’s an HR pro and we’re connected via a couple of professional acquaintances and had gotten caught up in an email loop together. More people keep the crazy hours I do now, but it still stuns me to see her on Google and “available to chat” at 4 a.m.
- For the right pools of talent, Google can be a great resource. Sites, blogs, profiles… there’s a lot of information in there. Having one of the more robust search indexes? Even better.
Is Google perfect? Absolutely not. It kills me that it can’t do a FlipSearch. I would love to have one stop shopping in my search life. Does it sometimes feel cluttered with results? Yes, but go back to learning your syntax and it’ll definitely help you cut to the results you need. Would I go a day without using it in my researching life? Not a chance. Bing and Yahoo are great back-up plans but not a replacement in my book. They certainly don’t offer up the suite of options that Google does. So a very happy birthday Google, I hope you have many more!
Kelly is the Recruitment Manager for Westat, a leading social science research organization headquartered in Rockville, Maryland.