03/05/2017 9:47 PM AEST | Updated 05/05/2017 9:57 PM AEST

The 10x Quality Method of Research via Google

Let’s face it, there’s a lot of mediocre information on the web. How many times have you searched Google for a topic and ended up watching a low-resolution video from 2010 in which some random person babbles at you for 30 minutes? Yeah, several times too many, me too.

So, how do you cut to the chase and find the best information on your topic?

You search for expert-curated lists.

It makes sense that when an expert spends time putting together a list of the best content on a topic and publishing it on their website, it’s bound to be good.

In this article I will show you the four searches that lead to expert curated lists and take you through a ‘live’ example that illustrates the power of this method in action.

Four searches for finding expert curated lists

  1. Best or Top - for example, ‘best pet grooming posts’ (you can also add a year if you wish).
  2. Hack - as in ‘life-hack’. Experts often use this word when they write about shortcuts and industry secrets. For example, ‘pet grooming hacks’.
  3. Number - 100, 50 or 10 to pull up ‘best of’ lists. For example, ‘100 pet grooming tips’.
  4. Industries word - types of industries that are likely to be experts in the field. For example, ‘pet grooming tips by a dog salon’

Now, this might seem like a small tip but getting 10x the quality at 10x the speed is actually a pretty big deal. I pondered over how to best illustrate this point and decided the best way would be a narrative because who doesn’t like a story, right?

A ‘live’ example of the power of the 10x Quality Method

You decide that you’re going to change the world by starting your own social enterprise.

Your plan is simple, you’re going to give a few young African entrepreneurs a leg-up by helping them to start making enough money online to make a difference in their home town… but you’re starting from scratch and you have no money to invest in them.

You set aside an entire weekend to work out everything from trips to Kenya to business ideas and funding.

Does that sound like a single weekend’s research?

If you were only using normal Google searches then the answer’s no, more like four weekends, but let’s attack this with our new 10x Quality Method and see how we go.

Hurdle 1: Visas

Instead of searching for ‘kenyan travel visa’ and trawling through legal jargon on government sites, let’s find someone who’s done the hard work for us by adding an industry expert keyword.

Who’s likely to be an expert on African Visas?

Perhaps businesses like tour operators, safaris and other tourist-centred industries.

Sure enough, when you add ‘safari’ to the search term, making it ‘kenyan travel visa safari’ you come straight to a concise and well researched page on the subject by dkrandsafaris.

Visa handled. Research time: 20 minutes.

Hurdle 2: Jet Lag

Next up, you suffer from jet lag and the trip to Africa is freaking you out.

Let’s try the ‘hack’ keyword this time.

Searching for ‘hack to avoid jet lag’ brings up a number of comprehensive articles. For example, this page by Nootropedia that covers the subject from several angles.

Jet lag sorted. Research time: 20 minutes.

Hurdle 3: Business Offering

OK, travel considerations have been put to bed. Now for the major stumbling block, you know nothing about making money online! Never fear, there are plenty of experts around who do.

This time we’ll use the addition of a number to bring up lists of business ideas.

Searching for ‘100 internet business ideas’ will lead you to this massive guide by MadLemmings which is not only put together by an expert, but includes ideas from loads of other experts in the field.

Ideas abundant. Research time: 3 hours (there’s a fair bit to take in here).

Hurdle 4: Business Strategy

So, you’ve settled on a core offering that your entrepreneurs can build a business around: reasonably priced, high quality SEO for small businesses.

Now you need to delve deeper into the nitty gritty of how this new social enterprise is going to deliver its service, bearing in mind the people running it will be new to the industry and the business will need to watch its pennies.

For this search, we’ll try the ‘best’ keyword and see how we go.

A search for ‘best free seo tools for small business owners’ works a treat! The most useful article returned by this search is one by Volume SEO that outlines five free, pro-level SEO tools and how to use them to get fast results.

Service sorted. Research time: 2 hours.

You’re almost there. So far this research has taken 5 hours and 40 minutes, so we’re still on Saturday of the first weekend. Pretty good going!

Hurdle 5: Funding

Just one thing stands in the way of you and the realisation of your social enterprise in a single weekend… securing the initial investment required to get the business off the ground.

Banks are a non-starter but you’ve recently heard of something called peer to peer lending and want to find out more about it–perhaps there are normal people out there who might get behind your social enterprise with a small loan.

For this search, we’re going to target videos because financial stuff can get pretty dry and videos are often easier to absorb.

Using our ‘top’ keyword, you search for ‘top videos on peer to peer lending’ and find, on page one of Google, a curated list of videos by Capital Match which leads you straight to everything you need to know.

Funding found. Research time: 1 hour.

So that’s the whole research handled in a mere 6 hours and 40 minutes!

You take the rest of Saturday off. Sunday is your action day. You book a flight to Kenya, post your social enterprise idea on a crowdfunding website and never look back.

World changed.

I hope this story helps to show the power of the 10x Quality Method when compared to standard searches. Google is amazing but it’s never going to be better than human experts pulling together the best content from their industry. By using Google to find these types of posts, you’ll tap into some very potent knowledge.


Oliver Braithwaite is the author of Edtech & Co, a blog about rapid learning via education technology, and the Founder/CEO of Stars & Catz, a private tuition company.