Tips on How to Use Google Search More Efficiently
Everyone uses Google to search every day for various reasons. Students use it for schoolwork, businesses use it for research, and many more use it for entertainment. But most of you may not be using Google search to its full capability.
Do you want to use Google to search more efficiently and get the desired search results quickly? Here are a few Google search tips and tricks to improve and maximize your search efficiency:
Use quotes in Google Search
When searching for something specific, use quotes. When you put your search term in quotes, it tells the search engine to search for the whole phrase and now each and every term of the phrase.
For example, if you search for Web Design Agency, the search engine will search for content that contains those three words in any order.
However, if you search “Web Design Agency”, it will search for that phrase exactly as you typed it. This can help in getting specific information that may be buried under other content if not indexed correctly.
Use a colon to search a particular site
There may be a chance where you need to Google search for articles or content on a particular website. The syntax to do so is very simple:
Sachin Tendulkar site:cricbuzz.com
This will search for all content about famous cricket player Sachin Tendulkar, but only on cricbuzz.com. All other search results will be omitted. If you need to find specific content on a particular site you can use this shortcut.
Use the tabs in Google search. On the top of each search, there are many tabs. You’ll see All, Web, Image, News, and More. Using these tabs, you can help define what kind of search you want to do.
If you want images then use the Image tab. If you are looking for a recent news article, use the News tab.
It’s very basic and most people use the tabs already. If you don’t use tabs then it’s highly recommended to use them. They can cut search times if used properly.
Use a hyphen to exclude words
Sometimes you may be searching for a word with an ambiguous meaning. An example is Mustang. When you Google search for Mustang, you may get results for both the car made by Ford or the horse. If you want to cut one out, use the hyphen to tell the search engine to ignore content with one of the other as below:
This tells the search engine to search for mustangs but to remove any results that have the word “car” in it. It can be of great help when finding information about something without getting information about something else.
Use the asterisk wildcard
The asterisk wildcard is one of the most useful on the list. When you use an asterisk in a search term on Google search, it will leave a placeholder that may be automatically filled by the search engine later. This is a brilliant way to find song lyrics if you don’t know all the words. Let’s look at the syntax:
“Someone * Loved”
For us, that may look like nonsense. However, Google search will search for that phrase knowing that the asterisks can be any word.
By the way “Someone You Loved” is a song recorded by British singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi.
Use Google search to do math
Google search can do the math for you. It isn’t easy to describe because it can be used in so many ways. You can ask basic questions or difficult ones.
It is important to note that it won’t solve all math problems, but it will solve a good number of them. Here are a couple of examples of the syntax:
8 * 5 + 5
If you search the first one, it’ll return 45. It will also show a calculator that you can use to find answers to more questions. This is useful if you need to do some quick math but don’t want to do it in your head. If you search the second term, it will return the number value of Planck’s Constant.
So Google search can do the math, and it can also help you solve math problems by showing values for known mathematical terms.
Find sites that are similar to other sites
This is a unique one that could be used by practically everyone if they knew it existed.
Let’s say you have a favorite website. It can be anything – social, shopping, entertainment, etc. You want to find other websites like it. You would use this trick:
If you search above, you won’t find a link to Flipkart. Instead, you’ll find links to online stores like Flipkart. Sites like Snapdeal, Shoppersstop, and others that sell physical items online. It’s a powerful Google search tool that can help you find new sites to explore.
Search for a range of numbers
Searching for a range of numbers is another tip that we don’t anticipate a lot of people might be using. Even though the people who use it, will probably be using it a little bit.
People interested in money or statistics will find this tip particularly useful. Essentially, you use two dots and a number to let Google search engines know that you’re looking for a specific range of numbers. Like the syntax below:
What teams have won the ICC Champions Trophy ..2006
In the first instance, the search will toss back the team that won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2006. The two dots with only one number will tell the search that you don’t need anything before or after 2006. This can help narrow down searches to a specific number to improve search results.
In the second, Google will search for the numbers 45, 46, and 47. It is useful if you happen to need to search for numbers like this.
Search for multiple words at once
Google search is much flexible. It knows you may not find what you want by searching only a single word or phrase. Thus Google search lets you search for multiples.
By applying this trick, you can search for one word or phrase along with a second word or phrase. This can help narrow down your search to find exactly what you’re looking for. Here is the syntax:
“Best ways to prepare for a job interview” OR “How to prepare for a job interview”
By searching that, you will search both phrases. Remember the quotes tip above? It’s being used here as well. In this example, these two exact phrases will be searched. It can be done by word too, like the example below:
Chocolate OR White chocolate
This will search for pages that have either chocolate or white chocolate in it.
Gradually add search terms
Many times Google search doesn’t show the results you are expecting. In this situation, keeping it simple may not be the best option.
As Google itself suggests, the best method is to start with something simple then gradually get more complicated. See the example below:
First try: job interviews
Second try: prepare for job interviews
Third try: how to prepare for a job interview
This will gradually refine the search to bring you fewer, more targeted terms. The reason you don’t go straight from the first try to the third try is that you may miss what you’re looking for by skipping the second step.
There are millions of websites that phrase the same information in a number of different ways, by using this technique you get as many of them as possible to find the best information.
Use important words only
Google search engine works on keywords, it takes your phrase and matches keywords in online content.
When you search for too many words, it may limit your results. That means it may actually take you longer to find what you’re looking for. So use only important words when searching for something. Let’s see an example:
Don’t use: Where can I find a Chinese restaurant that delivers.
Instead try: Chinese restaurants nearby.
Or: Chinese restaurants near me.
Doing this can help Google find what you need without all the clutter. So remember, keep it simple and use important words only. Using location service Google gets your location and serves the result accordingly.
Use words that websites would use
This is a very important tip. When people use Google search to hunt the web, they generally search for things using the same language that they would use for speaking.
Unfortunately, websites don’t say things the way people do, instead, they try to use language that sounds professional. Let’s look at some examples:
“I have a flat tire” could be replaced by “repair a flat tire”
“My head hurts” could be replaced by “headache relief”
While searching, try to use terminology you would find on a professional website. This will help you get more reliable results.
Google search has shortcuts
A number of commands can be entered to give you immediate results.
Like the math example above, Google can immediately give you the information you need that is displayed right at the top of the search results. This can save time and effort so you don’t have to click a bunch of bothersome links.
Here are a few examples of some commands you can enter into Google:
Weather pin code – This will show you the weather of the given pin code. You can also use town and city names instead of area codes, but it may not be as accurate if there are multiple area codes in the city.
The math example posted above is another one.
What is the definition of word or Define: word – This will display the definition of a word.
Time place – This will display the time in whatever place you type in.
You can check any stock by typing its ticker name into Google. If you search for GOOG, it will check the stock prices for Google.
These quick commands can take a web search that is usually multiple clicks into a single search.
Use descriptive words
Everything can be described in multiple ways. For example, the term “life hack.” The terminology “hack” refers to a computer programmer breaking security on a network or system. However, when used in conjunction with the word “life”, it alters the meaning to tips and tricks people can use to improve their lives.
If you have trouble finding what you’re searching for, keep in mind that people may search or define what you need in a different way than you do.
You may search “How to install drivers in Windows 10?”
When you really mean “Troubleshoot driver problems Windows 10.”
If you search for something and you can’t find an answer, try asking the same question using different words and see if that helps in getting the results.
Money and unit conversions
Google search can quickly and accurately convert both measurement units and currency values.
If you happen to be a math student, you can use it to convert from feet to meters or from ounces to liters. Here’s how to do it:
miles to km – This will convert miles to kilometers. You can put numbers in front to convert a certain number. Like “10 miles to km” will show you how many kilometers are in 10 miles.
USD to INR – This will convert a US dollar to Indian rupees. Like the measurements above, you can add numbers to find exact conversions for a certain amount of money.
This tip is used by math students and international business people. However, you’d be surprised how often these tips are used by regular people.
Find a specific file
A cool feature of Google search is the ability to search for a specific file or file type. This can be infinitely useful if you need a specific PDF or PowerPoint file that you previously viewed or need to use in a project. The syntax is quite simple:
Search term here filetype:docx
Search term here filetype:ppt
In the above example, you simply replace the search term with whatever you’re searching for. Then use the filetype command and enter the extension of any file type you require. Remember not to leave space between filetype, :, and extension ie. use filetype:ppt.
This can mostly be useful for scholarly purposes, but business presentations and other assorted presentations can benefit from this kind of search as well.
Google search is a very powerful search engine. Using the tips stated above, you can find anything and everything you could ever need on the World Wide Web.
Whether it’s avoiding Wikipedia for a school’s essay project, finding the latest stock prices, or even finding song lyrics, there is a way to make Google search work for you.