Getting information from the internet has never been easier today. Whatever route you choose, you can easily access whatever you want in seconds. Speaking of routes, two are most prevalent nowadays: searching on Google or visiting a site directly. Why?
Well, it’s clear why Google search is one of the methods. After all, as the leading search engine, it gathers and stores all kinds of information for the benefit of users. On the other hand, visiting a website is easy and more direct.
Against the backdrop that these are the two main methods of navigating the web, Chrome's Omnibox placeholder text reads:
"Search Google or Type a URL."
What does that mean, and which of the two methods suits you best? Read on as this post discusses the benefits and downsides of Google and URL search.
What Does the Phrase “Search Google or Type a URL” Mean?
“Search Google or type a URL” are two common ways of looking for information online. It involves either making a search on the engine or going to a website directly. It is also the placeholder text for Google Chrome’s search bar (as seen in the image above).
Now, the question is: "what does each method involve?" Let's answer that by reviewing each route separately, as well as their pros and cons, starting with the latter.
What does “Type a URL” Mean?
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the address of a website on the internet. It helps browsers locate a website and retrieve any published content on it.
With the "Type a URL" method, you only need to input the URL of your destination website in your browser's search bar.
Once you click on the ENTER key, you'll get taken to your destination site. When using this form of navigation, take note of the following two points:
➔ You don't necessarily need to add the URL's protocol ("https://" or "http://") to reach the intended site, as seen in the image above.
➔ You need to add the domain extension (such as ".com" or ".net") for you to reach the intended site.
These behaviors are a result of many modern web browsers that can understand the intent of a search, allowing you to visit a site without entering the full address. However, depending on your browser, you may need to complete the URL.
Pros of Typing a URL
It is faster than Google Search.
It allows you to cut the stress of looking for the most relevant result on SERPs.
Cons of Typing a URL
It only works if you already know the website you want to visit. Therefore, in reality, you can't use this method to search for new information or to conduct research.
What does “Search Google” Mean?
To “search Google” is the process of acquiring information in a way that meets your needs. It involves the following three steps:
➔ Type your query (what you’re looking for) into the search bar. For instance, the following image uses the query: “What is Google?”
➔ After clicking enter, you'll see a list of web pages that provide an answer to your query. Here, you'll need to scroll through the page to find a page that best suits your needs. To do this, pay attention to the pages' headers and short descriptions. It may also be helpful to know that Google sorts the pages in order of relevance to your query.
➔ Once you find a page you want to visit, click on it.
In addition to the sites that appear on Google's SERP, you can also use Google’s SERP features to get answers to your query. These features include the Featured Snippets, Knowledge Graph, Video Carousel, and the People Also Search For box.
Pros of Searching on Google
Google search allows you to find more information on a subject.
It presents you with a list of websites to compare your information.
Its SERP features allow you to obtain information much faster.
Cons of Searching on Google
It is more stressful and time-consuming than typing a URL.
The Ideal Use-Case Scenario for “Search Google” and “Type a URL”
As we’ve seen already, there are two common methods of navigating the web. It’s either you make a search on Google or type a URL. We’ve also seen the advantages and disadvantages of each. However, it may still pose a challenge when asked to choose. Well, that’s normal. After all, the route you choose should depend on the scenario you find yourself in. With that, here is a simple guideline to consider:
➔ Google search is perfect for almost all situations except when you want to visit a specific URL. In those cases, directly typing the site’s address is faster and saves time.
Apart from these two methods, other means of navigating the internet include:
Use of links present in a website you’re currently on
However, none of these methods is straightforward like searching Google or typing a URL. Most of the other methods require that you visit a website first before returning or proceeding to another site. As a result, Searching Google or typing a URL remains the two favorites.
The internet has changed people's approach to research. Since it contains data on every topic, users only need to go online to find answers to whatever they're looking for. To do that, many users have found Google search as the best method.
It is perfect for getting quick answers and conducting in-depth research. Still, others familiar with a website choose to insert its URL anytime they want to visit. So, ultimately, it's your choice.