Doing a Google search can be frustrating.
Sometimes you type in your keywords and hit “enter,” but instead of getting what you’re looking for, you see a list of random and unrelated websites. Or perhaps your search produces the site you’re seeking – but it’s buried on page three or four.
Here’s good news. There are some insider shortcuts that will save you time and worry when Googling.
“By learning a few formatting and punctuation tricks, you can tell Google how your search terms are related, or exclude certain words or phrases,” writes KeriLynn Engel for Whoishostingthis. “You can also narrow down your search with criteria like location or pricing, or use Google to search within a single website.”
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12 Tips for Better Googling
- Search exact phrases. If you’re looking for an exact phrase, use quotation marks. Example: “to be or not to be”
- Exclude a word. Add a hyphen before the term to be excluded. This is useful if you’re searching for a word with several meanings. Example: “inception -movie”
- Search within a site. Use a colon to get results from certain domains. Example: “recipes.site: theguardian.com”
- Search similar sites. Find sites with similar content to a URL you already know. Example: “related:usatoday.com”
- Search for words in text. Find pages where all the terms appear in the text. Example: “allintext:uninsured motorist coverage”
- Search for one term in the text. Find pages where the target term appears in the text, and other terms appear elsewhere in the document. Example: “john roberts intext:supreme court”
- Search for words in URL. Find pages with the search query mentioned in the URL. Example: “allinurl:usa today”
- Find news related to a particular location. Use this on Google News to target specific geographic locations. Example: “prince george location:auckland”
- Search for a particular filetype. Google will restrict results to pages that end in the desired suffix. Example: “annual report 2014 filetype:pdf”
- Search for a number range. Separate numbers by two periods for results that contain numbers in the given range. Example: “dslr $300..$500”
- Search for “blank.” An asterisk works as a wildcard to help you find a missing word in a phrase. Example: “two wrongs * make a right”
- Search for either word. If you want to find pages with one of several words, use a capitalized OR. Without OR, results would show pages that include all the terms. Example: “olympics 2012 OR 2016”
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