Ever since Google rose to the top of the search engine list, millions of people have been using it to search the internet. Google makes it pretty easy to find what you’re looking for – simply type your query into the search box. But did you know there are a few tricks that can make your internet search even easier? Here, we share our 10 favorite:
1. Use quotations
Have you ever done a search for a phrase and your search results only include one or two of the words in the phrase? If you’re looking for the entire phrase (or something similar, like a name or a description), use quotations. By putting quotations around your phrase, Google will search for the entire phrase instead of just the words in it.
Example: “holly jolly Christmas”
2. Asterisk uncertain words
To continue on the quotations suggestion, we also suggest using an asterisk for words you don’t know or words you’re unsure of. This is especially handy if you’re searching for song lyrics or a common expression. You can simply replace the word you don’t know with an asterisk and Google will search all of the possibilities.
Example: “* is stronger than steel”
3. Use advanced search filters
If you’re searching for something specific, Google has a variety of search filters that you can use to narrow down your results. You can narrow them down by things like:
- Time (past hour, 24 hours, week, etc.)
- Number of results per page
- Private results
- Results by region
- And more
You can also narrow down image results by size, orientation, color, usage rights, file format, and more to find what you’re looking for.
4. Eliminate words from your search
Just like you can use an asterisk to replace unknown words, you can use a hyphen to eliminate words from your internet search. If you want to search for something that is commonly associated with something else, you can search for it without that association.
Example: Mustang -cars
5. Consider your source
The internet is a vast world of knowledge, but that knowledge isn’t always credible. When you’re conducting an internet search, consider the source of your information. Websites like Wikipedia can be edited by anyone, so the information you find may not be accurate. Also keep in mind that websites with a “.org” and “.edu” are usually trustworthy.
6. Search for a range
Trying to narrow down an incident that happened during a specific time can be tough. Two periods, however, can help you hone in on the results you want. If you’re looking for a merger that happened between 2010 and 2014, simply put two periods between the years to search for a range. You can also use this trick to search for products in a specific price range.
Example: airline merger 2010..2014
7. Don’t skimp on descriptions
When conducting an internet search, don’t be afraid to use as many descriptive words as possible. The more words you use, the better your results will be. Keep in mind your search can simply be words back-to-back and doesn’t have to be a complete sentence or thought.
Example: actor, Texas, bourbon, Interstellar, “alright, alright, alright”
8. Utilize the search tabs
At the top of all search results pages is an array of tabs that you can use to filter down your results. These tabs include things like “News,” “Maps,” “Videos,” “Finance,” “Images,” and more. Choosing a specific tab can come in handy when you’re trying to narrow down what you’re looking for.
9. Quickly find conversions
Want to know how many miles 10 kilometers is? You can do a quick Google search to get the conversion. Simply type what you want to convert into the search bar and the answer will be the first thing the search engine shows.
Example: how many USD in one Euro
10. Search a specific website
If you’re looking for something and want to find results from a certain website, you can use a shortcut to search only that website. In your internet search query, include the term “site:” directly in front of the website you want to search. Your results will include only those found on that website.
Example: site:barnesandnoble.com Stephen King reviews
At Prager, we love staying on top of new ways to search the internet. We’re constantly working to help businesses get to the top of search results through things like paid search, responsive web design, search engine optimization, and more. If you’d like to improve your business exposure, contact us today!