Google is a powerful tool, but you’re missing out on a lot of that power if you just type words into it. Master Google and find the best results faster with these search tricks. If you’re like me, you probably use Google many times a day. But chances are, unless you’re a technology geek, you probably still use Google in its simplest form. If your current 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.
On the other hand, even if you are a technology geek and can use Google like the best of them already, I still suggest you bookmark this article of Google search tips. Then, you’ll then have the tips on hand when you’re ready to pull your hair out in frustration watching a neophyte repeatedly type in basic queries in a desperate attempt to find something.
The following Google search tips are based on my own experience and things that I actually find useful. The list is by no means comprehensive, but, I assure you that by learning and using the 12 tips below, you’ll rank up there with the best of the Google experts out there. I’ve kept the descriptions of the search tips intentionally terse, as you’re likely to grasp most of these simply by looking at the example from Google anyway.
1. Exact Words and Phrases
One of the most basic and widely known search tricks is using quotation marks to search for an exact phrase. For example, perform the following search and you’ll only get pages that contain the word “Hello” followed by the word “World.”
This same method now works for exact-word queries. For example, if you search for “mining,” Google will also show pages that contain the words “miners.” Previously, you’d use a plus sign and search for +mining, but now you have to enclose the word in quotes:
2. Excluding a Word
The minus sign allows you to specify words that shouldn’t appear in your results. For example, if you’re looking for pages about Linux distributions that don’t mention Ubuntu, use the following search:
linux distributions -ubuntu
3. Site Search
The site: operator allows you to perform a search in a specific site. Let’s say you’re looking for information on Windows 7 on How-To Geek. You could use the following search
site:haloseeker.com google search
You can also use the site: operator to specify a domain. For example, if you’re looking for high-quality references, you could use site:.edu to only pull up results from .edu domains.
4. Related Words
The tilde (~) operator is the opposite of enclosing a single word in quotes — it searches for related words, not just the word you type. For example, if you ran the following search, you’d find search results with words similar to “geek”:
Apparently, “Linux” is the most similar word to geek, followed by “Greek.” “Nerd” comes in third. (Hey, no one ever said Google was perfect.)
5. The Wildcard
The asterisk (*) is a wildcard that can match any word. For example, if you wanted to see what companies Google has purchased and how much they paid, you could use this search:
“google purchased * for * dollars”
6. Time Ranges
A little-known search operator allows you to specify a specific time range. For example, use the following search to find results about Ubuntu from between 2008 and 2010:
7. File Type
The filetype: operator lets you search for files of a specific file type. For example, you could search for only PDF files.
8. One Word or the Other
The “OR” operator lets you find words that contain one term or another. For example, using the following search will pull up results that contain either the word “Ubuntu” or the word “Linux.” The word “OR” must be in uppercase.
ubuntu OR linux
9. Word Definitions
You don’t have to Google a word and look for a dictionary link if you want to see its definition. Use the following search trick and you’ll see an inline definition:
Use Google instead of pulling one out or launching a calculator app. Use the +, -, * and / symbols to specify arithmetic operations. You can also use brackets for more complicated expressions. Here’s an example:
(4 + 2) * (6 / 3)
11. Unit Conversions
The calculator can also convert between units. Just type “X [units] in [units]”. Here’s an example:
5 nautical miles in kilometers
12. Phone Listing
Let’s say someone calls you on your mobile number, and you don’t know who it is. If all you have is a phone number, you can look it up on Google using the phonebook feature.
(Note: The provided number does not work. You’ll have to use a real number to get any results.)
13. Stock (Ticker Symbol)
Just enter a valid ticker symbol as your search term, and Google will give you the current financials and a quick thumbnail chart for the stock.
Search weather followed by a U.S. zip code or the name of any city in the world to get the current weather and forecast. Enter weather by itself to get the weather report for your current location.
15. How to get Anything you want from Google Search
This is the best google search tip i’ve know. You wanna get everything like a digital product, ebook, script, themes, template and more..?
Just use google backdoor like this:
intitle:"index of" "parent directory" Bitdefender -rar OR zip
Just copy the code given above and paste in google search form, and change the keyword “Bitdefender” with your own keyword.
Combine these search operators to create more complex queries. Want to search a specific website for a PDF file, created between 2001 and 2003, that contains a specific phrase but not another phrase? Go ahead.