Google is one of the most widely known search engines available in the World Wide Web. Millions of people use the Google search engine every day for research, knowledge, or entertainment. However, out of those millions of people, only a few know how to use Google smartly in order to achieve the most relevant results. If you want to get the best out of Google, you only need to know a few tips.
Tip #1: Know the Punctuations
Including punctuation marks when you search for something does not really improve results since Google usually ignores punctuation. However, there are certain punctuation marks that Google recognizes but for something different than what you might have used it for. Here are some punctuation marks and how to use it for better results.
“+”: for Google+ pages or blood types
“@”: to find social tags
“$”: to find prices
“#”: to find trending topics
“-“: to exclude websites or certain information from the results (when words have multiple meanings, like Jaguar, you can use “-“ to narrow down results, i.e. Jaguar -car)
“ “: enclosing phrases or words in quotation marks will only give sites that contain the exact phrase
“*”: to fill unknown words in phrases
“..”: place two periods without spaces between two numbers to show sites that contain that number range
*Note: Remember not to use spaces between your searches and the punctuations or else it will be useless.
Tip #2: Use Search Operators
Search operators are words that will narrow down your search results. You don’t need to memorize these words, though. You can use the Advanced Search page so that Google can automatically narrow down results for you.
“site:”: will show results from certain sites or domains
“link:”: will show pages that link to a certain page
“related:”: will show sites similar to the one you specified
“OR”: will show pages that might use one of several words
“info:”: get information about a web address
“cache:”: to see the cached version of the site
“intitle:”: restricts results to just the ones wherein your searched word or phrase is found in the Web page title
“intext:”: restricts results to just the ones wherein your searched word or phrase is found in the body text, thereby ignoring titles, links, etc.
*Note: Remember not to use spaces between your searches and the operators or else it will be useless.
Tip #3: Use Google Search As A Calculator
You can solve basic math problems by simply typing it on the Google search engine. The results will be shown immediately and when you click “Enter,” a calculator will show up.
You can’t immediately get results for complex math problems though but this feature is pretty handy when you need a quick math solution.
Tip #4: Avoid Unnecessary Terms
Some people use Google to search complete sentences that describes exactly what they need. There’s no need for that. Just use a phrase that would sum up your needs in order to get specific results. Searching in sentences will broaden your results since Google will also search for the other words in the sentence. Instead, gradually add words to your phrase if the first search doesn’t get you what you want.
Tip #5: Use Google Scholar
If you need to search for academic and scholarly work, ditch the usual Google search engine and go to Google Scholar. In Google Scholar, you’ll only get results from academic papers which you can shamelessly cite in your papers.
You can still use the Search Operators and Punctuations to narrow down results. You can also use “author:” to search for papers from the author you cited.
Tip #6: Use Google As A Unit Converter
You can quickly convert units using Google by simply searching for what you have and what you need. For instance, searching for “1 cup in tablespoon” will give you exactly what you need.