If you’re like me, you probably use Google many times a day. But chances are, unless you're a tech geek, you probably use Google in its simplest form. If your use of Google is limited to typing in a few words and changing your query until you find what you’re looking for, then I’m here to tell you that there’s a better way --- and it’s not hard to learn.
The following advanced Google search tips are based on my own experience and things that I actually find useful. You’re likely to grasp most of these simply by looking at the example and trying it from Google anyway.
1) Go to Google (but which Google?)
Obviously, to search Google, you have to go to Google.
But did you know that there are various ways to reach Google! In fact, there are even different Google websites.
You can go directly to google.com by typing in http://google.com into your web browser. This will take you to the main Google web site, which is designed to serve the United States as well as the world in general.
If you are outside the United States, you may prefer to go to the version of Google designed for your own country, or else in this case google.com automatically redirects you to that particular site.
Google also offers a variety of “vertical” search engines, which are the versions of Google that let you search just for particular types of interests like images, news, maps, videos and many more... If you’re interested in specific content like this, it may make more sense to start searching at one of these subject-specific versions of Google or under these tabs of Google. You’ll find a list of them here
2) Use Quotes to Search for an Exact Phrase
When searching for something specific, try using quotes to minimize the guesswork for Google search. When you put your search query in quotes, it tells the search engine to search for the whole exact phrase, and yields results with the same words in the same order as what's in the quotes.
For instance, if you search for Digital Marketing Blog, Google will search for content that contains those three words in any order. However, if you search “Digital Marketing Blog”, it will search for this phrase exactly as you typed it.
3) Use a Hyphen to Exclude Words
Sometimes you may find yourself searching for a word with an ambiguous meaning, that’s generating a lot of results that aren’t of interest to you. For example, if you search for Digital Marketing you will come around the results of both the courses and blogs for the Digital Marketing. So, to cut out the results of Digital Marketing Courses, search in Google in the following format
Digital Marketing -Courses
This can be helpful when finding information about something without getting information about something else!
4) Use a Colon to Search Specific Sites
There may be instances where you need to Google search for articles/posts or content on a particular website. The syntax is very simple and is as follows
This will search for all the content about Digital Marketing on this site and all other search results will be removed. If you need to find specific content on a particular site, this is the shortcut for you.
5) The Power of the Asterick
The asterisk works as a wild card within searches. It can be used in place of a missing word or part of a word, which is useful for completing phrases and also when you’re trying to search for a less definite article or mostly for cases for finding the song lyrics if you don't know all the words.
For instance, a search for engineer* will search for engineer, but also engineers, engineering and any other word which starts with engineer.
6) This OR That
By default, when you do 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. Google search is flexible and knows you may not find what you want by searching only a single word or phrase. Thus, it lets you search for multiples. By using the following syntax, you can search for one word or phrase along with a second word or phrase. This can help narrow down your search to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. (Note: OR has to be capitalized).
For example, Digital Marketing OR Internet Marketing.
7) Find Sites that are Similar to Other Sites
Let’s say you have a favorite website, which can be anything. However, that website is getting a little bit boring and you want to find other websites similar to it. Then, you can do the same by following the below syntax
If you search in the above format, you won’t find a link to Google. Instead, you’ll find links to other various search engines like Google, viz. sites like Bing, Yahoo, YouTube, Ask.com and many more... It’s a very powerful Google search tool that can help you find new similar sites to browse.
8) Word Definitions
If you need to quickly look up for the definition of a word or a phrase, simply search as below syntax
You can also listen to that word's pronunciation by pressing the speaker icon below the word.
9) Similar Words and Synonyms
Let’s say you want to include a word in your search, but also want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms. To do this, use the symbol ~ in front of the word.
"digital marketing" ~professional
10) Use the Words that Websites Would Use
This is a very important one. Because, when people use Google search to surf the web, they generally search for things using the same language that they would use for speaking. Unfortunately, websites don’t use the words or language the way the people do, instead, they try to use language that sounds professional.
“I have a leg pain” could be replaced by “leg pain relief”
“I need to learn digital marketing” could be replaced by “digital marketing blogs” or “digital marketing institutes”
The list goes on and on. When searching, try to use terminology you would find on a professional website. This will help you get more reliable results.
11) Use Important Words Only
The way Google search engine works is to take in what you search for and match it with keywords with the online content. When you search for too many words, it may limit your results, i.e, it may actually take you longer to find what you’re looking for or may return with no results. Thus, it is suggested to use only the important words when searching for something.
For example, Don’t use: Where can I find an institute that trains digital marketing.
Instead try: digital marketing institutes nearby.
12) Spellings Doesn’t Necessarily Matter
Google search has evolved a lot smarter over the years. These days, you don’t even need to spell words exactly and correctly. As long as it’s pretty close, Google will usually figure it out.
If you search “dgtel mrkting” Google will automatically assume that you mean to search for “digital marketing”. If by chance your misspelling was intentional, Google gives you the option to search for the misspelled terms instead.
This trick is great if you happen to forget how to spell something or are not altogether sure how something is spelled.
Note: This applies to capitalization and grammar as well.
13) Words in the URL
If you want to find the webpages with your search query mentioned in the URL, then,
type allinurl:immediately followed by your search query.
allinurl:15 ways to use google search efficiently
14) Words in the Title
If you want to find a webpage with certain words contained in the title, then,
type allintitle:immediately followed by by your search query.
allintitle:15 ways to use google search efficiently
15) Words in the Text
If you want to find a webpage where all the terms you're searching for appear in the text of that page, then,
type allintext:immediately followed by by your search query.
If you found this page by doing a search on Google, congrats! 😉
You clearly already know how to search in Google.
Hope, this page has helped you learn some additional tips that you’ll find useful in your future searches.