Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Conversational Search

Although Google is my main search tool Bing has gotten much better over the years. These days when I use it, mainly while at work, I'm finding it very good at keyword based searches. So if I'm looking up a specific class in the .net framework and I know the name (or most of the name) then it's great at getting me directly to the URL I want.

This applies to local destinations as well. If I know, roughly, the name of the place I want to go then bing finds it very quickly. And I've grown to like the beautiful artwork you see when bing loads.

But when it comes to more exploratory search, where I don't have an exact keyword that I know will locate the result, Google really shines here and has gotten way better at this. These days more and more it seems I can just ask my question in conversational English and google finds it.

For example, I use OneNote extensively but something that annoys me about its copy/paste functionality is that it stuffs these "from ..." footers whenever you paste a link. 99 times out of 100 I don't really care about the source URL. Especially if the link is included in the pasted text.

I suspected that there's an option for controlling this but didn't want to wade through all of the options to find it. Glanced at a few of the option settings, didn't see anything obvious. So I go to Google. I start typing "OneNote copy paste" and 5 search suggestions appear. The last one "OneNote copy paste from link to original" looks promising so I try it. At the bottom of the first screen full of results is a link to a page titled "OneNote Stop Including Link to Original Source" which is exactly what I'm looking for. Options -> Advanced -> Include link to source when pasting from the Web. Uncheck that and we're done.

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