How many times a day do you search for something on Google? Your answer likely contributes to the fact that Google Search is the most visited website on the internet. In fact, it is so popular that the company’s name is now a verb. Google it!
Most search queries result in something of use on the first page. However, sometimes your query is so unspecific that you are bombarded with unrelated results. Today, we will discuss how to get the most out of Google Search by sharing helpful tips and tricks.
This first tip is extremely simple. If you are searching for a quote, use quotation marks! Without them, you will likely get a wide variety of answers that might not be useful. If you search while using quotes, you will only be prompted with pages with that exact phrase, in that order. If you are searching for specific quotes or passages, this is an extraordinarily useful tip.
Example: “Stay hungry. Stay Foolish…”
How could using an asterisk in a Google Search benefit you? Take a look at the previous example provided. While Google still manages to provide some information on a search which is missing information such as “stay stay foolish”, your results are more usable with the addition of an asterisk in place of the word you are unsure of. Searching “stay * stay foolish” yields the same search results as searching for the full quote itself.
Using minus signs on a Google Search tells the search engine, “hey search engine, if this page uses that word prominently, ignore that search.” So how would this be useful to you? Let’s say for example you would like a new Apple computer. If you search for Apple on Google Images, you can easily see the abundance of fruit. If you add -fruit after “apple”, the apples disappear. This ability to eliminate ambiguous results is extremely helpful when searching on Google.
Example: apple -fruit
This simple search tool helps you find that page you were looking for. You can search for specific content on an individual website, which saves you from hopelessly navigating around a website.
Example: Halloween site:nytimes.com
This tool might not boost productivity, but it will boost morale as well as close those ultimate debates you and your coworkers are having. After typing “flip a coin” in the search bar, Google Search will generate a virtual coin, and flip to either heads or tails. This can also be used if you’re taking a vote on what’s for lunch, and the vote is tied.
Google Search has proved to be one of the greatest tools of our time. If you want more tips on how to use it properly, as well as getting the most out of other technology, subscribe to our blog.