Searching on Google may not be rocket science, but following certain protocols can enhance your Google search experience. The following are some of the most common tips used to yield better results on your next Google search.
Perhaps one of the best known and widely used techniques to find something on Google would be the use of quotation marks. Quotation marks are used to find something specific, not all of the related things. For example, if you were looking for cars you would type “cars”. The generated results would be only about cars, not engines, tires, and so on.
Ever been in a situation in which you were looking for a phrase, say, a famous quote or lyric, but you could only remember a part of it? Well, this next tip will help out with that. We’re talking about the asterisk. An asterisk used in a Google search functions as a placeholder for an unknown word or an unknown phrase. An example would be the famous saying “an apple a day” but you can’t remember the rest. In this case, you would search for the rest of the expression by entering “an apple a day *”. Asterisks can also be used to find different versions of an expression. Such as “a penny saved”. With this you would type “* a penny saved”. In both cases, using quotation marks will also help narrow your search.
Cut it Out
The next tip on the list is the hyphen. The hyphen is used to narrow the results of a search by purposefully excluding some results. This is useful for words that may have several meanings associated with them. In other words, ambiguous words such as ‘choppers’. A ‘chopper’ could reference a helicopter, a type of motorcycle, or even a type of tool. In this instance, to cut out the results that you don’t want, you would use the hyphen. If you want to look up ‘helicopters’ your search would look like this: Choppers -motorcycles. This will be enough to leave out anything else associated with the word “choppers”.
Make it Specific
The next two tips can be very useful for students and researchers alike. When you only want articles or content from a specific source you can use the colon. An example would be if you were searching for articles about Abraham Lincoln only on civilwar.org. The search will look like this: Abraham Lincoln site:civilwar.org. This will only yield results found on this particular website. This is an excellent way to find any links concerning a specific search term on a particular website.
Do the Math
Did you know that Google can be used as a math tutor? Sure it can tell you what 8 + 5 – 3 is, but it can also help you with more advanced formulas, such as finding the area of a cylinder. When the search is entered, a calculator will pop up and all you have to do is plug in the numbers. It will also tell you the formula it is using.
Time for a Little Talk
For those of you who perform a lot of searches, and are tired of typing, there is a voice option. That little symbol that looks like a microphone on the Google search bar itself will help you out. All you need to do is click on it, and as long as your microphone is plugged in you can enter terms and search just by speaking your requested search.
For more information about how to fine-tune your search engine results, contact tekRESCUE located in San Marcos, TX.