Google is the most popular search engine and displays most relevant search results. This is a powerful tool and you don’t need to read any how-to guide on using Google. Many people still use Google in its simplest form by just typing out their search term and hitting enter. If they don’t get proper search results, then they just enter another search term. If you want to use Google like a pro, then you’ll find search operators very useful. These search operators are like shortcuts that perform specific function and helps you get results exactly as the way you want it. Let’s take a look at some Google search tips using which you can the most out of this awesome search engine.
Before moving forward, let’s clear some basic facts:
- In most cases, everything that you type matters.
- Punctuation and special characters are ignored.
- Search is case insensitive. This means that a search for [computer] will yield same results as compared to [Computer]
However, Google has further clarified that there may be some exceptions when the above rules are not applied.
Tips and Tricks to Search on Google
Search with Exact Words and Phrases
This one is the most common search trick. Whenever you want to search for the exact phrase, then just use double quotes around your search term. For example, “technology news”. This search will get you pages that have both the terms exactly as mentioned.
Google can also help you with word definitions. You don’t need to even visit any website other than Google for this. To know definition about a particular word, use the following search trick:
You’ll be able to see the result at the top of the page, without the need to navigating to any site.
Excluding a Particular Term/Word
The minus sign allows you to exclude a particular term or a word from the search results. For example you want to search for “mobile reviews” but don’t want results containing the term “Nokia”. In such a case, use below trick:
mobile reviews –nokia
Enter your search term, followed by minus sign to exclude that term.
Disable Google Instant
Google Instant has been around for quite sometime and may seem to be annoying for some users. This feature enables you to get results as you type. Many of you may not want this feature and want to disable or turn off Google Instant. To do this, open a search results page and you will see a small wrench icon in the top right side. Click on it and then on “Search settings”. From here, select “Never show Instant Results”.
Now Google won’t bother you showing results as you type. You’ll need to press the enter key to get the results.
Search a Particular Site Only
Sometimes the default search of a particular site may not work that great. Also on some sites the search bar is not visible or the search functionality is not integrated. In such a case you can use Google to search that specific site. The site: operator allows you to search for a certain keyword on any site you wish. For example, you want to find information about iPod Touch on Technostarry.
site:technostarry.com iPod Touch
This will show results only for one site (instead of searching on the whole web) and only for the search term that you have entered in the query.
Did you know that Google has in-built currency converter? To convert currency, simply enter the conversion in the Google search box and the answer is displayed directly on results page. No need to navigate to any website to know the results. Take a look at below example on how to convert currency:
5USD to INR
Follow the same format when you enter the currency details in Google.
Search for Specific File Types
The “filetype” operator helps you to search for files of only a specific file type. For example, you may want to search for only PDF files related to a specific subject.
This will search for PDF files on the web, which are related to the subject “ubuntu”.
Search This or That
The default behavior of Google is to include all the terms specified in the search term. If you want to specifically allow either one of several words to match, you can use the “OR” operator. The “OR” should be in uppercase only.
Kindle OR Fire
Who doesn’t use the handy calculator utility which is built-in OS. But just in case you want do a quick calculation, type the expression directly in Google. Below is an example:
2356 * 6
You can also calculate by using other symbols like +,-,/,sqrt, etc.
Latest Stock Market Price
This is very simple, you just need to enter a valid ticker symbol when you enter the search term on Google. For example:
This will present the latest price, open, high, low, thumbnail chart and other financial details.
The * is a wildcard that is like fill in the blanks. If you include * within a query, it tells Google to try to treat the star as a placeholder for any unknown term and then find the best matches. For example:
This will present results about Google’s different products.
Search Results for a Specific Time Range
If you want to get results from only a specific time range, then this is also possible. For example:
linux mint 2008..2011
Instead of years, you can also search for prices or any other series of numbers. This will present results from only within that time period or range.
Want to open a map quickly? Just type in the name of the place or U.S. zip code of that location and the word “map”.
Los Angeles map
This will return a map of the place that you’ve entered. Click on the map to open a larger version of Google Maps.
Keep it Simple
There’s no need to go advanced when you can do the job by entering a simple query or keyword. For example, if you’re looking for a particular company, then just enter its name. If you’re looking for some Chinese restaurant, then enter Chinese restaurant and the name of your town or zip code. There’s no need to use operators when you can keep it simple.
These tricks for Google will help you find out the most relevant information by using operators and perform specific actions like using Google as a calculator and a currency converter. You can also combine these search operators to further improve your search results. Try searching using these tips and search Google like an expert.