We all use Google so much that we have become way too much reliant upon it. At situations where we would have used a local paper based directory before, today we use a quick Google search. However, unless you are a technology geek, you probably still use Google search in its simplest form. If your current use of Google is limited to typing a few words in, 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 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 10 tips below, you’ll rank up there with the best of the Google experts out there.
1. Explicit Phrase:
Lets say you are looking for content about technology latest updates. Instead of just typing technology latest updates into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase. To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes.
Example: “technology latest updates”
2. Exclude Words:
Lets say you want to search for content about latest gadgets, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term “smartphones”. To do this, simply use the “-” sign in front of the word you want to exclude.
Example Search: latest gadgets -smartphones
3. Site Specific Search:
Often, you want to search a specific website for content that matches a certain phrase. Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the “site:somesite.com” modifier.
Example: “iPhone apps” site:http://TechChunks.com
4. Similar Words and Synonyms:
Let’s say you are want to include a word in your search, but want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms. To do this, use the “~” in front of the word.
Example: “technology tips” ~geek
5. Specific Document Types:
If you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier “filetype:”. For example, you might want to find only PowerPoint presentations related to top 10 tech tips.
Example: “top 10 tech tips” filetype:ppt
6. The OR Operator:
By default, when you do a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search. If you are 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: laptops OR notebooks
7. Phone Listing:
Let’s say someone calls you on your mobile number and you don’t know how it is. If all you have is a phone number, you can look it up on Google using the phonebook feature.
Example: phonebook:617-999-1111 (note: the provided number does not work – you’ll have to use a real number to get any results. works for most US numbers).
8. Area Code Lookup:
If you are from the US, 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.
9. Numeric Ranges:
This is a rarely used, but highly useful tip. Let’s say you want to find results that contain any of a range of numbers. You can do this by using the X..Y modifier (in case this is hard to read, what’s between the X and Y are two periods. This type of search is useful for years (as shown below), prices or anywhere where you want to provide a series of numbers.
Example: president 1940..1950
10. Stock (Ticker Symbol):
Just enter a valid ticker symbol as your search term and Google will give you the current financials and a quick thumb-nail chart for the stock.
The next time you need to do a quick calculation, instead of bringing up the Calculator applet, you can just type your expression in to Google.
Example: 48512 * 1.02
12. Google Converter:
The next time you need to do a quick conversion, instead of looking all over the Internet, you can just type your expression in to Google.
Example: 1 USD in INR, 5.10 feet in inches, 12 pounds in kilogram [feel free to explore more conversion types]
13. Word Definitions:
If you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the “define:” command.
By using these top tips you can make your Google search a more enjoyable one, saving time and spending more time on the websites you want to be on shopping and finding out the information you need.