questionable topic – uneasy matters since 2008

20 Tips for More Efficient Google Searches

Posted in internet, lifehack, manual by questionabletopic on Wednesday, April 30, 2008

For millions of people, Google is an indispensable search tool that they use every day, in all facets of their lives. From work or school, research, to looking up movies and celebrities to news and gossip, Google is the go-to search engine.

But instead of just typing in a phrase and wading through page after page of results, there are a number of ways to make your searches more efficient.

Some of these are obvious ones, that you probably know about. But others are lesser-known, and others are known but not often used. Use this guide to learn more about, or be reminded of, some of the best ways to get exactly what you’re looking for, and quickly.
Either/or. Google normally searches for pages that contain all the words you type in the search box, but if you want pages that have one term or another (or both), use the OR operator — or use the “|” symbol (pipe symbol) to save you a keystroke. [dumb | little | man]

Quotes. If you want to search for an exact phrase, use quotes. [“dumb little man”] will only find that exact phrase. [dumb “little man”] will find pages that contain the word dumb and the exact phrase “little man”.

Not. If you don’t want a term or phrase, use the “-” symbol. [-dumb little man] will return pages that contain “little” and “man” but that don’t contain “dumb”.

Similar terms
. Use the “~” symbol to return similar terms. [~dumb little man -dumb] will get you pages that contain “funny little man” and “stupid little man” but not “dumb little man”.

Wildcard. The “*” symbol is a wildcard. This is useful if you’re trying to find the lyrics to a song, but can’t remember the exact lyrics. [can’t * me love lyrics] will return the Beatles song you’re looking for. It’s also useful for finding stuff only in certain domains, such as
educational information: [“dumb little man” research *.edu].

Advanced search. If you can’t remember any of these operators, you can always use Google’s advanced search.

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