The term “Google” has been synonymous with “search online” for nearly two decades, yet there is still much to learn in mastering the site. These 12 tips will provide users additional ease in searching the internet with Google and perhaps save a few seconds time in the process.
1. Search for precisely worded phrases with quotes
If you’re searching for something specific, such as a certain article, quote, or song lyric, this tool is for you. Just put whatever you’re looking for in quotation marks.
2. Specify unknown words within quotes
We’ve all been there. You’re singing loudly in the car with a friend and then *awkward* you each say different lyrics. If you’re looking for the correct word in a quote, song lyric, idiom, etc., simply type the quote with as many words as you know, putting asterisk marks where the unknown words go.
3. Use a hyphen to exclude searches
If you’re looking up a word with multiple primary meanings, this is a great tool. For instance, “Mustang” would yield search results for a sports car and a horse. If you only want the horse, type this: mustang –car. This will exclude results that contain the word “car”.
4. Website keywords
If you’re looking for a previously used source or need a particular source, this function will come in handy. Say you needed to cite The New York Times about the presidential election. Type this: 2016 presidential election site:nytimes.com
5. Use “vs.” to compare foods
We can’t always carry around those “Eat This, Not That” books, but a simple Google search will do the trick. You can compare the nutritional value of two food items by typing something such as “ground chicken vs. ground beef” (without quotes).
6. Search results for recipes
Speaking of food, if a recipe is what you’re looking for, click on search tools under the search bar, and you’ll be prompted to filter your results for recipes regarding certain foods.
Save time by entering DEFINE: before any word (slang included) instead of pulling out the old fashioned dictionary. You’ll also see its etymology as well as a graph depicting its linguistic usage over time.
8. Image searches (with usage rights)
If searching for a picture to use on a website or production of any kind, avoid copyright issues by searching Google based on rights. After searching for your subject under Google Images, click on “search tools” under the search bar. Then select “usage rights” and depending on your plans for the picture, select either “labeled for reuse” or “labeled for reuse with modification”. This filters photos that are OK to use for your purposes.
9. Find sites that are similar to other sites
This function is a unique one that could be utilized by practically everyone if they knew it existed. If you’re looking for a new website on the same topic as another, type it in like below:
If you search that above, you won’t find a link to Amazon. Instead, you’ll find links to online stores like Amazon. Sites like Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and others that sell physical items online.
10. Search for multiple words at once
Google search is flexible. It knows you may not find what you want by searching only a single word or phrase. Thus, it lets you search for multiples. You can use this function to save time or get multiple ideas. For example:
• cocktails with rum OR cocktails with vodka
11. Search a range of numbers
This function isn’t widely known or used but makes researching statistics a whole lot easier. For instance, if you’re wondering who won the college football national championship in 1998 (hint: it was the University of Tennessee Volunteers), then you would type in “What team won the national championship ..1998” (without quotes).
12. Use words that websites would use
While Google is smart, it can only do so much with the information that people put online. Therefore, while it might seem second nature to say “My dog ran away”, you’ll yield more accurate results by searching “tips for finding a lost dog”. Word your searches as professionally as possible so that Google can pick up what websites are saying.
All this being said, if you’re a company wondering how on earth you could ever be found in the midst of all the information online, we can help with SEO and beyond.