These days you can find virtually anything you’re looking for with a Google search.
But as you’ve probably noticed, the search results pages can sometimes be confusing and cluttered with results that have little or nothing to do with the topic you’re interested in.
But by using a few tricks you can eliminate many of the distracting non-relevant listings and find the info you need in a jiffy.
With that in mind, here are eight tips for searching Google like a pro:
1 – Search for an explicit phrase or group of words by enclosing them in quotation marks.
Example: A search for “home based business” will yield a list of pages containing that exact phrase.
2 – Search for multiple words using a plus sign.
Example: Typing job+stress will return pages that contain both of the words job and stress, even if they aren’t located together on the page. But both words must be somewhere on the page in order for that page to be included.
3 – Confine your search to a single website with the site: command.
Example: Typing “how to install a light switch” site:ehow.com will yield pages only from the website www.ehow.com.
4 – Exclude specific words from your search by using a minus sign.
Example: Typing cars -volkswagen will keep any pages with the word volkswagen on them from showing up in the search results.
5 – Include synonyms in the search results by using the approximate (~) symbol (Located above the Tab key on most keyboards).
Example: Typing the word ~spices will result in a list of pages containing the word spices as well as its synonyms (seasonings, etc.).
6 – Confine your search to specific file types by using the filetype: modifier.
Example: Searching for wordpress filetype:pdf will find nothing but .pdf files related to the WordPress blogging platform. You can search for most any file type you can think of just by plugging in the applicable extension.
7 – Use Google as a calculator by typing your mathematical expression into the search box.
Example #1: Type 1253.74*4.2 and Google will immediately tell you that the answer is 5265.708.
Example #2: Type 24.3+(3725/7)-8 and Google will answer with 548.442857143.
8 – Use Google as a dictionary by using the define command.
Example: Type define:inclement and you’ll be provided with the dictionary definition of the word inclement.
I hope you find this list of Google search tips handy. It’s amazing just what all Google can do for us, and I learn more about it every day.
Bonus tip: This post explains how to delete your entire search history from Google.