You may have seen Google advanced search guides before. In fact, I was not going to bother because there is already a plethora of them out there. I changed my mind after I realised that most of these guides did not really drill down into the more advanced ways to search on Google. Instead they preferred to skim over the more well-known and easy techniques.
So let me show you some Google advanced search techniques that you probably haven’t seen before. First though, let’s start off with the basic ones. If you already consider yourself a pro “Googler”, skip forward to the advanced section.
Google Basic Search Techniques
- Put your search term in quotes to only search for an exact match of that phrase “Like this”.
- Put a – in front of a word to exclude it from the search entirely.
- To combine searches, add or in between your searches. Eg: Diets or Chocolate.
- Adding a * in place of a word creates a wildcard. So if you are unsure about the phrase you are googling, this can be a godsend. Eg: What’s the biggest * in the world.
- Search ranges using .. For example: Ford Mustang $1000 .. $2500.
- Site specific search is a thing too. By adding Site: followed by the domain you wish to search and then your search term. Eg: Site:Facebook.com Cute kittens.
- Like above, adding Related: in front of a site will search for related sites.
- Adding Intitle: plus a word will return only results with that word in the title. Great for searching for MP3’s etc.
- Similar to above, adding Inurl: plus a word or words will only return results with that word in the url.
- Looking for the answer to your question? Add forum and solved to your search query.
- Looking for recent results? Once you have searched, click tools (under the search bar) and choose a time range from the drop down list.
Above are the main ones I always see in articles. But let’s see if I can now show you some that you might not know. But first, a short break……
Google My Bulbul
Google Advanced Search Terms
- Let’s start with the AROUND operator. This fabulous tool is underused and needs to be known by more people. Let’s say you are searching for Barack Obama and his visit to Russia. Unfortunately, when you google it, you get thousands upon thousands of results to sift through. But if you search this: “Obama” AROUND(5) “Russia” then it will only return results with Obama being within 5 words of Russia within an article. It’s a brilliant way to find relevant content. For it to work, both your searches must be in quote marks, AROUND must be capitalized and the number must be in brackets.
- We covered the – operator in the basic section. However, it can have more powerful uses. You can use it to remove websites from your search. Let’s say you want to search for Candy Crush but not on Facebook. It would look like this: Candy Crush -Facebook.com.
- We also covered the wildcard operator *. But did you know that if you use it in a quoted search term, it returns the different relevant terms. Eg: “The * Lion” would return The angry lion, the yawning lion etc.
- Looking for a file? Adding Filetype: and then the file extension type you are looking for will only return results for that file.
- Looking for case studies or academic articles? Use Google Scholar instead of the vanilla google search engine.
- Using quotes in Google can still be an ordeal with Google offering up searches it thinks relevant. To remove these and only search for your word or phrase, add triple quotes. “””Like this”””.
- Google used to have a + operator to include words. But they have gotten rid of that function. To include words now, you must wrap them in quotes.
Hopefully within these tips and tricks you may have found something to help you. However, if you are still struggling, there is help. Google actually have a course where you can learn how to “power search”. You even get a certificate and everything!