We all know Google is a powerful search engine. Did you know it can be even more powerful? With the right techniques, you can save hours of searching
1. Use quotes (“”) to search for a specific phrase
Normally you would search the Internet using keywords, so the more specific you are with your keywords the more relevant results you’ll get. If you want to get exact results, then you put your keywords in the double quotes (“”). When you search with the double quotes, Google will get results having the exact keywords in it, and the words will be in the exact order as you defined. For example, if you search for ”Café with cats” in Google, then Google will list all the results with exactly “Café with cats” in it, and in that order. This kind of search will discard all other alternate results, so even “Café with cat” wouldn’t be listed as a result. This will save you time with researching certain topics.
2. Search by location
With this Google trick, you can specify a specific location (For example, your neighborhood) at the end of your search keywords and only have results related to that location. This Is useful because normally Google uses your IP address as your location, which can be inaccurate especially if you are using a VPN. This might sound simple enough; however, did you know you can be very precise with the location? For example “Bookshops CV4 7ES” will give you a list of bookshops in Coventry, United Kingdom.
3. Use search operators to enhance your search
Using “OR” in your search will give you results containing either keyword. It acts like either-or concept of English. For example, if you search for “Nike OR Adidas shoes”, you would get results with both “Nike shoes” and “Adidas shoes”. Google will list the results having any of those keywords in it.
Using “And” gives you results containing both the keywords in it. For example, if you search for “Nike AND Adidas shoes”, you would only get results with “Nike Adidas shoes”. Google will list the results having both of those keywords in it.
Using “Minus(-)” is more of a less known Google trick. Add minus sign before the keywords you want to eliminate from your search results. This is useful when you want to search for the lesser popular usage of a certain word. You just need to place (-) minus sign in front of those keywords you don’t want to be included in your search results.
4. Search for similar websites
This trick is relatively new and would be used by everyone if they knew it existed. This trick will help you discover new websites, whilst still relevant to your original search. All you need to do is add “Related:” before your keywords. For example, “Related:Facebook” would give you Facebook results and other websites similar to Facebook like MySpace etc. There are many other tricks involving “:”. We didn’t mention all of them, but take some time and research it yourself; it will save you hours filtering through results.
5. Use Google search bar to get results from certain domains
There are some websites with more trustworthy top level domains. Top level domains are the extensions that come after a domain name like .com, .edu, .org, .net etc. Using “site:edu” will give you results focused on .edu websites. This is a powerful trick that will save you time from getting results from unreliable sources and it is very popular amongst students.