If you’re like a lot of people, including me, you probably use Google several times a day. But the odds are good that Google is capable of a lot of which you may not be aware. Most people are accustomed to using Google for limited searching by typing a few words in, and changing your query until you find what you’re trying to find. But, the truth be known, there is a lot more that can be done and it’s really (no, REALLY) not hard to learn. They are quick to use and easy to learn. I’m not trying to give you an exhaustive list of all that Google can do for you, but I hope to add something to your tool-belt and give you at least a tip or two that will help you get the most out of the time you spend on your computer.
14 Google Search Tips To Make You Look Like A Pro
1. Explicit Phrase:
If you’re looking for content about Social Networking, you could simply type those two words (Social Networking) into the search box. This will yield fairly decent results, but you will probably be better off by searching explicitly for the phrase. To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes.
Example: “Social Networking”
2. Exclude Words:
If you want to search for content dealing with Social Networking, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term advertising, you would simply use the “-” sign in front of the word you want to exclude.
Example Search: Social Networking -advertising
3. Site Specific Search:
You may find the time when you want to search a specific website for content that matches a specific phrase. Google allows you to do this even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature. Simply use the “site:specificsite.com” modifier.
Example: “Social Networking” site:www.biztekconnection.com (One of my favorite sites, by the way.)
4. Similar Words and Synonyms:
If you want to include a word in your search, but want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms, you would simply use the “~” in front of the word.
Example: “Social Networking” ~professional
5. Specific Document Types:
To find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier “filetype:”. For example, you might want to find only PowerPoint presentations related to Social Networking.
Example: “Social networking” filetype:ppt
6. This OR That:
By default, when you do a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search. If you are looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator. (Note: The OR has to be capitalized).
Example: Social Networking OR advertising
7. Phone Listing:
Let’s say someone calls you on your mobile number and you don’t know how it is. If all you have is a phone number, you can look it up on Google using the phonebook feature.
Example: phonebook:501-555-1212 (note: the provided number does not work – you’ll have to use a real number to get any results).
8. Area Code Lookup:
If all you need to do is to look-up the area code for a phone number, just enter the 3-digit area code and Google will tell you where it’s from.
By the way, the same thing works for zip codes.
9. Numeric Ranges:
This is a rarely used, but highly useful tip. Let’s say you want to find results that contain any of a range of numbers. You can do this by using the X..Y modifier (in case this is hard to read, what’s between the X and Y are two periods. This type of search is useful for years (as shown below), prices or anywhere where you want to provide a series of numbers.
Example: president 1980..1984
10. Stock (Ticker Symbol):
Just enter a valid ticker symbol as your search term and Google will give you the current financials and a quick thumb-nail chart for the stock.
The next time you need to do a quick calculation, instead of bringing up the Calculator applet, you can just type your expression in to Google.
Example: 4721 * 1.47
By the way, the calculator can handle more complicated calculations:
Example: (47 * 7) / 5
12. Word Definitions:
If you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the “define:” command.
Example: define: agnostic
13. Fill In The Blank:
Sometimes the best way to ask a question is to get Google to fill in the blank by adding an asterisk (*) at the part of the sentence or question that you want finished into the Google search box.
Example: Abraham Lincoln died in*
To see the time in many cities around the world, type in “time” and the name of the city
Example: Time New York
Like I said, this is not intended to be an exhaustive list but I hope this list of Google search tips will give you a serious “next step” and lead you into a more productive use of Google search functionality. If there are any of your favorite Google power tips that I’ve missed, please feel free to share them in the comments.
Roger G. Best