I’m always on Google, in fact so are 65% of the internet searching population of the wold. Here’s the thing, unless you happen to be a Google guru you’re likely not taking full advantage of all that Google’s highly advanced search engine can do to make your search user friendly. There are a few tricks that if you learn them, or bookmark this page (hint – hint) you’ll have all you need handy when you need to ramp up your search from the mere basics.
13 Expert Google Search Tips
1. Keep It Simple
Ever notice that most experts at anything advise keeping your efforts at it simple. Well search on Google is no different. The first thing you should remember is to try to start with a simple search. I advise you add a few descriptive words if necessary. If you’re looking for a place or product in a specific location, add the town or zip code.
2. Fill In The Blank
You’ve got it on the tip of your tongue, but just can’t complete the phrase. Try this, type an asterisk (
*) within a query as a placeholder for any unknown or wildcard terms. Use with quotation marks to find variations of that exact phrase or to remember words in the middle of a phrase.
Example Search: give me * or give me *
3. Exclude Words
Let’s say you want to search for content about inbound marketing, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term advertising. To do this, simply use the “-” sign in front of the word you want to exclude.
Example Search: inbound marketing -advertising
4. Site-Specific Search
If you want results from a specific website, even if that site does not have a built-in search feature you can use Google to search the specific site for your term. For example if I wanted to know what Seth Godin thought about email marketing.
5. Search for Links To A Site
This is great if you want to find out which sites link to your site, or a competitors. Using the
link: operator, you can find pages that link to a certain page. For example, you can find all the pages that link to google.com.
Try This: link:google.com
6. Find Only Certain Document Types
Suppose you only want to find a certain type of document, like a PDF, on a particular subject. To do this use the “filetype:” modifier.
Example Search: “inbound marketing” filetype:pdf
7. This OR That:
By default, when you conduct a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search. If you’re 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 Search: inbound marketing OR advertising
8. Google’s a Phonebook
Ever have just a phone number show up in your caller ID. With the “phonebook:” modifier by you can look it up on Google.
Example Search: phonebook:215-555-1212 (Note: The provided number does not work. You’ll have to use a real number to get any results.)
9. 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.
Example Search: 610
10. Numeric Ranges
This is great feature that most people don’t know about. Use Google to find information on subjects between any range of numbers. Separate numbers by two periods without spaces (
..) to see results that contain numbers in a given range of things like people, dates, prices, and measurements.
Example Search: president 1960..2013 or camera lens $70..$200
11. Stock (Ticker Symbol)
I’ve used this a lot for managing my portfolio. Try typing a valid ticker symbol into the search bar as your search term, and Google will give you the current financials and a quick thumbnail chart for the stock.
Example Search: GOOG
12. Google’s a Calculator
The next time you need to crunch some numbers quickly try just typing the expression into the Google search box.
Try This: 3648/3
13. Google’s a Dictionary
Trying to figure the meaning of a word out. To quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase use the “define:” command.
Search Example: define:zumba
Hopefully this list of Google search tips powers up your online search abilities. Share any Google expert searching tips I’ve missed in the comments section.