Have you ever typed something in the Google search bar only to get results that you didn’t find useful? You are not alone. Even with the staggering advancements that search engines have made over the years, getting the results you want can still be difficult. If you want to get the most out of searching the web, here are some of the most useful Google search tips.
How to Search Google Like a Pro
Use Quotation Marks to Get an Exact Match.
Enclose your search terms in quotation marks to get an exact match from the results. You will only get pages that contain the exact and complete phrase you typed.
This is especially useful if you want to search for song lyrics or a phrase that is often overshadowed by one of the keywords. For example, if you are looking for the band Dr. Dog, putting the band name in quotes will eliminate more than 99% of the search results.
You can also use quotation marks for one word that you want to be included in all the search results. For example, you can search for a specific album from a band. You will only see search results that include all the words in quotation marks.
Quotation marks are also helpful if you are searching Google for an actual quote.
Use a Dash (-) to Exclude Search Terms.
To exclude certain terms, use the dash right before the phrase that you want to leave out. For example, if you want to search for David Fincher but you don’t want to see any results about Fight Club in the results, type in David Fincher –“Fight Club.”
Use AND to Search 2 Terms at the Same Time.
If you want 2 search terms to appear within each resulting pages, use AND in your search query. The terms will not be an exact match (unless you add quotation marks) but they will both be on each page of the Google results you will get.
Use OR to Search for Multiple Terms.
Called the “Similar Query Search,” using OR will give you results related to either or both your search terms. In place of OR, the pipe symbol (|) can also be used for this particular Google search shortcut.
Use the Site: Query to Search a Specific Website.
Typing site:example.com followed by the search terms will give you results within that specific website. For example, if you want to search for video doorbells on HelloTech.com, type site:hellotech.com doorbell in the search bar.
Use 2 Periods to Narrow Searches Within a Range
This is particularly useful if you are researching a topic that occurred between two specific time periods. For example, if you want to see pages with information on art history between 1900 and 1960, use the sample query in the photo below.
Use the Filetype: Query to Search for a Specific File Type
There are instances when you need a specific file from a website but you can’t trace back the steps to where the said file is hosted. This is particularly useful for doing research and downloading specific materials.
Add filetype: followed by the kind of file you need to your search term or a specific website. For example, filetype:jpg or filetype:pdf. In the example below, we are searching for PDF files on Hieronymus Bosch from the Metropolitan Museum of Art website. This will mainly bring up art history papers about the Dutch painter.
Use DEFINE: to get the definition of a term
Instead of going to Dictionary.com, you can get your results directly from the Google search bar. Use define: followed by a word and you will get results with the word’s definition. Google results now include the synonyms of the word as well.
Use Related: to Find Similar Websites
If you are looking for a website that is related to another website, use the related: query followed by the website URL. For example, to get results that are related to the HelloTech website, type the related:hellotech.com in the search bar.
Google Search Tips for Useful Lifestyle Information
Use the Weather: Query to Check the Weather in a Specific Area
Type in weather: followed by a location to get the local weather forecast. This Google search tip can be useful for those who are traveling or are planning their vacation. Alternatively, you can use the zip code after the weather query instead of the city or town name.
Use Movie: to Get Local Showtimes
If you don’t have time to call your local cinema and inquire about showtimes, let Google search do the hard work for you. Simply type movie: followed by the movie title and your zip code.
How to Do Basic Math Calculations with Google
Forgot your calculator? Simply type the formula into the Google search bar using the plus key (+), the minus key (-), the multiply key (*), or the divide key (/).
With these Google shortcuts included in your daily web browsing arsenal, you will be sure to get the most out of the internet. Interested in other Google tips and tricks? Check out our post on the hidden features of Google Maps.