Google Searching Tips
Posted January 7, 2009on:
We use Google many times a day, a big part of
answering work questions, doing research, or otherwise finding
information online. This search engine became a mainstream tool partly
because of its simple, powerful results. But hidden, advanced
techniques can get you better information with less hunting.
And searches: If you’re familiar with Boolean search
operators, Google uses “and” to include every listed term. Google also
weights the first terms more than the last, so type them in the order
of importance. If you include a common word, such as “the,” or “1,”
it’ll ignore that term. Be sure to manually add that item by adding “+”
directly in front, without a space. (Additionally, you can put
quotation marks around a full phrase to specific that exact string.)
And not searches: Google’s advanced search page can omit
results containing certain words, but you can do the same thing in a
standard search. Just type “-[your word]” to toss undesired results, such as the full search term “bass fishing –music”.
Search specific sites: Google often gives better results than a
site’s built-in search function. Or avoid hunting for that little box
on an unknown site. Just type your search term and then add “site:[domain name]”, such as “Google Searching Tips site:santabanta.com“.
Make conversions: Convert all sorts of units, including weight,
currency, and distance. Type the known item, “in”, and the unknown
unit, such as “10 km in miles” or “100 degree celsius in fahrenheit”.
Track packages: Just enter a shipper’s tracking number to get tracking results and links for major delivery companies.
Dictionary and spellcheck: Often handier than reaching for
another reference–or searching for one–Google can look up definitions
and spellings. Define words by typing “define:[word or phrase]” such as
“define:maverick”. Spellcheck just by typing your guess as the search
term, and see if Google asks if you meant something else