Do you ever get frustrated when you type in a search phrase into Google and you end up with over a million results? The internet is great because it gives you access to all of the information you could ever need… but sometimes that’s TOO much information and can be overwhelming. And sometimes if you’re researching something for work, you just don’t have the time to scroll through all of those search results to find what you’re looking for. While most of us know how to conduct a basic search in Google, conducting an effective Google Search is a little different. Here are a few tips for searching on Google that you may not already be doing:
- Search an exact phrase
If you want to search for a specific phrase, just put the entire phrase in quotation marks. Example “office supplies“. This ensures your search results will contain this entire phrase and you won’t get search results for just the word “office” for example.
- Exclude words
If you want to exclude any results that contain a certain word, just put the “-” sign in front of the word you want to exclude from your search.
Example “office supplies -pens“
- Search for similar words
If you want your search results to contain synonyms of your search term, add the tilde sign ”~” before your search term. This helps search for words that may describe your topic that you may not have thought of searching for.
- Exclude certain websites from your results
For example, if you don’t want Wikipedia coming up in your search results when you search for “paper”… just type in paper -site:wikipedia.org.
- Search for something within a website
If you want to search the contents of a specific site and remain in Google you can do that. For example, if you wanted to search for a topic/term on the NY Times website… you could just type the following into Google - “search phrase”site:www.nytimes.com
- Search similar websites
If you’re doing research and have found a certain site to be more helpful than others, you can use Google to find websites similar to the site that you like. For example, if you want to find similar sites to the NY Times website just type into the search bar related:www.nytimes.com
- Search for number range
You can conduct a Google search by date range, price range, etc. Like if you wanted to search for cameras between $100 – $150, you would just type in cameras $100..$150. Make sure to separate the numbers by two periods to show results within that range.
If you’re in Google, instead of having to open up your calculator app, you can just type simple calculations into the search bar. Like if you wanted to figure out the tax on a $215 item… just type into the search bar 215 * .0625. A Google calculator will show you the solution.
- Word definitions
To quickly look up the definition of a word, just type the following command into the Google search bar… define:your word
- Unit converter
To quickly figure out unit conversions, just type in the units you have and the units you want. 54 pounds in kilograms
- Determine the current time in a different time zone
If you want to find out the current time in Phoenix, AZ you would just type in time Phoenix.
- Money conversions
Similar to the unit converter trick, if you want to quickly figure out how many euros are equivalent to 50 US dollars you could just type in something like 50 USD in euros and see the conversion.