Google is definitely the most popular search engine. Still, many people might not be using it the best way possible. Here are 20 tips to maximize search efficiency.
- Use the Tabs. On top of every search results there are a number of tabs. Some of the categories are web, image, more. Use more, to get more categories. With the aid of these tabs you can easily filter what kind of search result you want.
- Use Quotes. Using quotes minimizes the quess work for Google. Putting search parameters in quotes tells the search engine to search for whole phrases. Not putting a phrase in quotes will result that Google will search for any of the contained words in any order. Example: “Three Little Pigs”.
- Use a Hyphen to Exclude Words. Useful when searching for an ambiguous word. For example, searching for “Mustang” will bring results for horses and cars. A hyphen can tell the search engine to cut one type of results off. Example: Mustang -cars. all results that have the word car associated would be left out.
- Use a Colon to Search Specific Sites. This is a very handy way to have Google search for content on a particular site. A quick example: Sidney Crosby site:nhl.com. Google will search for Sidney Crosby only on the NHL.Com’s site.
- Find a Page that Links to Another Page. Very few people know about it. Google can search for a page that links to a specific page. So, you can find who cited a specific source on their website. An example of the syntax: link:nytimes.com. This will return all pages with links to the New York Times official website. The more specific the URL is, the fewer results will come.
- Use the Asterisk Wildcard. This is one of the most useful tips. The asterisk in a search term is a placeholder that might be filled by the search engine. A syntax example is: “Come * right now * me” .Google will search for such a phrase and any possible word instead of the asteriks. Depend on popularity, the result might be the Beatles song “Come Together”.
- Find Sites that are Similar to Other Sites. Also a very useful tip. Supposedly you have a favourite website and you want to find a similar one. The syntax is: related:amazon.com. The search results won’t bring you to Amazon, but you will get other online stores.
- Use Google Search to do Math. The logic and capabilities behind that are rather complex, it could be used in many ways. For example: 8 * 5 + 5 , Pi value. The first one will bring you the result 45 straight away and some links to online calculators. The second one will give you the value of Pi. So, it could do some math calculations and show values of known math terms.
- Search for Multiple Words at Once. You can search google for multiple terms. Searching for two quoted phrases becomes easy: “Best ways to prepare for a job interview” OR “How to prepare for a job interview”. Google will search for both phrases. You can search for non quoted single words or phrases as well: chocolate OR white chocolate.
- Search a Range of Numbers. This is a tip which very few people are using. In essence it is two dots and a number, thus telling Google you search for a specific range of numbers. Syntax samples:
- What teams have won NHL ..2004
In the first example, google will return results only for 2004. Omitting results before or after 2004. The second example will return all numbers for the range 41 – 43, namely 41, 42, 43.
- Keep it Simple. We start to talk about more general Google tips now. Most of the times Google knows hot to search for things. You don’t need to be too specific. If you want to get pizza, you can simply search “pizza places nearby” and google will use your location as a starting point.
- Gradually Add Search Terms. Sometimes you would not get what you look for from the first attempt. Starting simple is still a good approach. In order to get the proper result, start adding terms gradually to narrow down and delimit results. This will gradually refine the search to more targeted results.
- Use Words that Websites Would Use. This is a general tip. The everyday language you use is not the same language as in websites. Try to express things in more professional manner.
- Use Important Words Only. Related to the previous tip. For example, don’t search “Where can I find chinese restaurant”. Use “Chinese restaurant nearby”.
There are still more tips you can discover. Read the original article to find out.