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How to master Google search

Google’s search tool is extremely advanced. There are many tips for refining queries. Here are the ones to know absolutely.

You most likely use Google Search several times a day, whether it’s to find a nearby restaurant or answers your everyday questions. And usually, Google is pretty good at giving you those answers, even if you don’t necessarily type the right things in the question. But when you want to carry out very specific research, especially in a professional context, it is very easy to improve the queries. Here are some tips you should know.

How to master Google search
How to master Google search

Use quotes when you can

If you’re looking for specific terms, like an author’s name, long-phrase, lyrics, or a proverb, Google will default to showing you results that include most of those words but not necessarily the entire phrase. Use quotes around these groups of words to force Google to only offer results that contain the entire groups.

For example: iPad Air “4th generation”

Use dashes to exclude certain terms

Sometimes a word can pollute your search. If you don’t want results containing that particular word, you can remove it, literally, with a hyphen.

For example: canyon -grand

Use the tabs to use the most suitable tools

They are easily forgotten, but Google offers much more than text search. There are Images, Maps, and Books. Use the tabs at the top to switch between tools.

Use ~ to include the most common synonyms

Looking to expand your search results? Use the ~ symbol before a word to display results that also contain synonyms for that word.

For example: breeding ~ dog (You will also have the results for canine, puppy, and certain breeds).

Filter by file type

This is particularly useful if you are looking for files online. Type your keywords and add filetype: pdf at the end of your query to search only PDFs. You can thus filter by any extension.

For example: filetype climate change report: ppt

Find pages that contain links to a particular page

This is a rather obscure trick, of course, but one which makes it possible to find pages that contain a link towards a particular page. If you are looking for quotes, for example, use “link: << my link >>” to find the pages in question.

For example: link:

Use an asterisk for words you no longer remember

Sometimes when looking for song lyrics, for example, we don’t remember all the words. The asterisk is very useful here. Google treats it as a wildcard and will serve you the results with the word groups containing anything between the previous word and the next.

For example: he was * ship

Find sites related to what you are looking for

This is a tip that everyone should know. Imagine that you have found a site that you like and you would like to find more. Just ask Google by typing “related: << site address >>”.

For example: related:

Perform site-specific searches directly on Google

Usually, site search functionality is far from perfect. With Google indexing all or most of the pages, you can use Google to search sites directly. Use “site: << site address >>” to search only in a particular site.

For exampleFacebook site:

How to master Google search
How to master Google search

Find results from two precise sources

Looking for results for two specific terms? For example, maybe you are looking for TV shows from Netflix or Amazon Prime. You can do this using the | symbol. This allows Google to indicate an “or”.

For example: Netflix | Premium

Search in a range of numbers

If you use Google for your searches, you can restrict the results to a date range, for example. Use .. between your two dates.

For example: academic studies 1920..1935

The founder and CEO at ThriveVerge, The Verge, and Thrive Revolution. He launched Thriveverge in 2016, a leading behavior change technology, business, media, and entertainment company with the mission of ending the collective delusion that burning out is the price we have to pay for success.


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