Millions of people use Google search every day for a variety of reasons. Students use it for school, business people use it for research, and millions more use it for entertainment. But most people may not be using Google search to its full potential.
Want to use Google search more efficiently and get the search results you want quickly? Here are 20 Google search tips and tricks to maximize your search efficiency:
The first tip is to use the tabs in Google search. On the top of every search are a number of tabs. Usually you’ll see Web, Image, News, and More. Using these tabs, you can help define what kind of search you need to do.
f you need images, use the Image tab. If you are looking for a recent news article, use the News tab.
It’s rudimentary and most people use the tabs already. If you are not, then it’s highly recommended to get associated with them. They can cut search times dramatically if utilized properly.
When searching for something specific, try using quotes to minimize the guesswork for Google search. When you put your search parameters in quotes, it tells the search engine to search for the whole phrase.
For instance, if you search for Puppy Dog Sweaters, the engine will search for content that contains those three words in any order.
However, if you search “Puppy Dog Sweaters”, it will search for that phrase exactly as you typed it. This can help locate specific information that may be buried under other content if not sorted out correctly.
Sometimes you may find yourself searching for a word with an ambiguous meaning. An example is Mustang. When you Google search for Mustang, you may get results for both the car made by Ford or the horse. If you want to cut one out, use the hyphen to tell the engine to ignore content with one of the other. See the example below.
This tells the search engine to search for mustangs but to remove any results that have the word “car” in it. It can be wildly helpful when finding information about something without getting information about something else.
There may be an instance where you need to Google search for articles or content on a certain website. The syntax is very simple and we’ll show you below.
Sidney Crosby site:
This will search for all content about famous hockey player Sidney Crosby, but only on NHL.com. All other search results will be removed. If you need to find specific content on a particular site, this is the shortcut you can use.
This Google search tip is a little obscure. Instead of searching for a specific page, you’re searching for a page that links to a specific page.
Think about it this way. If you want to see who cited a New York Times article on their site, you would use this trick to find all the sites that link to it. The syntax is below:
That will return all pages that link to the New York Times official website. The URL on the right side can be practically anything.
Be aware, though, that the more specific it is, the fewer results you’ll get. We know not a lot of people will likely use this Google search trick, but it could be very useful for some.
The asterisk wildcard is one of the most useful ones on the list. Here’s how it works.
When you use an asterisk in a search term on Google search, it will leave a placeholder that may be automatically filled by the search engine later. This is a brilliant way to find song lyrics if you don’t know all the words. Let’s look at the syntax:
“Come * right now * me”
To you or me, that may look like nonsense. However, Google search will search for that phrase knowing that the asterisks can be any word.
More often than not, you’ll find they are lyrics to The Beatles song “Come Together” and that’s what the search will tell you.
This is a unique one that could be used by practically everyone if they knew it existed.
Let’s say you have a favorite website. It can be anything. However, that website is getting a little bit boring and you want to find other websites like it. You would use this trick. Below is the syntax:
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. It’s a powerful Google search tool that can help you find new sites to browse.
Google search can actually do math for you. This is a rather complex one to describe because it can be used in so many ways. You can ask it basic questions or some more difficult ones.
It is important to note that it won’t solve all math problems, but it will solve a good number of them. Here are a couple of examples of the syntax:
8 * 5 + 5
If you search the first one, it’ll return 45. It will also show a calculator that you can use to find answers to more questions.
This is handy if you need to do some quick math but don’t want to do it in your head. If you search the second term, it will return the number value of Planck’s Constant.
So it can do math, but it can also help you solve math problems by showing values for known mathematical terms.
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.
By using this trick, you can search for one word or phrase along with a second word or phrase. This can help narrow down your search to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Here is the syntax:
“Best ways to prepare for a job interview” OR “How to prepare for a job interview”
By searching that, you will search both phrases. Remember the quotes tip above? It’s being used here as well. In this instance, these two exact phrases will be searched. It can be done by word too, like the example below:
chocolate OR white chocolate
This will search for pages that have either chocolate or white chocolate!
Searching for a range of numbers is another tip we don’t anticipate a lot of people using. The people that do use it, though, will probably use it quite a bit.
People interested in money or statistics will find this tip particularly useful. Essentially, you use two dots and a number to let Google search know you’re looking for a specific range of numbers. Like the syntax below:
What teams have won the Stanley Cup ..2004
In the first instance, the search will toss back the team that won the Stanley Cup in 2004. The two dots with only one number will tell the search that you don’t need anything before or after 2004. This can help narrow down searches to a specific number to improve search results.
In the second, Google will search for the numbers 41, 42, and 43. It is obscure, but wildly useful if you happen to need to search for numbers like this.
Now we’re getting into the general tips. Google search knows how to search for a lot of things. What this means is you don’t need to be too specific. If you need a pizza place nearby, use this to search.
Pizza places nearby
Google search will grab your location and deliver a variety of results about pizza places that are near you.
There will come a time when Google search doesn’t shovel out the results you expect. In this instance, keeping it simple may not be the best option.
As Google itself suggests, the best method is to start with something simple then gradually get more complicated. See the example below:
First try: job interviews
Second try: prepare for job interviews
Third try: how to prepare for a job interview
This will gradually refine the search to bring you fewer, more targeted terms. The reason you don’t go straight from the first try to the third try is because you may miss what you’re looking for by skipping the second step.
Millions of websites phrase the same information in a number of different ways; using this technique lets you search as many of them as possible to find the best info.
This is a very important one. When people use Google search to hunt the web, they generally search for things using the same language that they would use for speaking.
Unfortunately, websites don’t say things the way people do; instead, they try to use language that sounds professional. Let’s look at some examples:
“I have a flat tire” could be replaced by “repair a flat tire.”
“My head hurts” could be replaced by “headache relief.”
The list goes on and on. When searching, try to use terminology you would find on a professional website. This will help you get more reliable results.