Everything I needed to know
I learned from a Search Engine
Part of my day job is “CMS Administrator.” CMS is geekspeak for “Content Management System”, and it is a catch-all term for blogs, video courses, news feeds, anything that brings you content on a regular basis.
Occasionally I put up a piece of content for a client and they can’t find it. They write me and say ”This was supposed to be live on friday, where is it?”
Usually it’s a search error. The content schedule might say “Article About Identity Theft in Serbia.” Meanwhile, I’ve renamed it “Someone’s Stealing Selves in Sarajevo” (note: I would never!) I’d also tag the post with things like “identity theft, serbia, tourism, tourist, danger, travel, passport, protection” The original draft title, though, would be totally left behind.
My client only sees the content schedule, and her search for “Article About Identity Theft in Serbia” gives zero search results. She emails me irately: Where’s the post?
I go to the search field and put in only the most relevant term: ”Identity Theft”. There’s the article I put up for the client, as well as a whole bunch of other content about the same subject.
The Art of the Search
Take a look at the suggestions from Google for searching:
- Keep it simple. You can always be more descriptive later.
- Search using your voice. Sometimes making it conversational helps you frame your search better, and most computers/phones/tablets have mics now.
- Use web friendly words. How would other people describe what you’re looking for?
- Don’t worry about the little things. Google’s smart enough to figure out most misspellings and capitalization, and punctuation is pretty much ignored. Don’t worry about it!
Less Gets More
What is essential is invisible to the eye – Antoine St. Exupery, The Little Prince
This brings us to the point of the post: sometimes we believe we have a perfect idea of the things that we love. It may be a person, a food, a kind of music, an area of the country.
If we hold too tightly to that preconcieved idea – that first draft – it can mean that when things change, we lose it, or think we do. It’s a cliché of romance: He’s not the man I married!
Of course he’s not! But the superficial changes can distract us from seeing what is really important.
Let’s try applying the Google Search Tips to finding the things you love:
- Keep it simple. How do you want to feel? Happy? Secure? Excited? Start with broad strokes, and you can get more specific later.
- Search using your voice. Biggest lesson for getting what you want: Ask for it. Sure, you could find what you love all by yourself, keeping quiet. But wouldn’t it be more likely to happen if other people know about it and might be able to help you find it?
- Use friendly words. People are more interested in hearing about dreams than complaints.
- Don’t worry about the little things. If you focus too hard on the details of what you think you want, you’re likely to miss out on a whole lot of things that might also make you happy. Cherish the little things in every day that remind you of just how incredible the world we live in can be.
Now, I’m not all pollyanna here. As of this writing, there are more Syrians displaced from their homes than not, for example. There are many things to be concerned about, and sometimes they aren’t little things.
I believe the more you practice searching for the things you can love the stronger you are when it comes to dealing with the tough things.
What are you searching for? How can you improve your search? Worthwhile questions to take into the weekend with you.