Looking for the ultimate tips for Google searching? You’ve just found the only guide to Google you need. Let’s get started:
1. The best way to begin searching harder with Google is by clicking the Advanced Search link.
2. This lets you search for exact phrases, “all these words“, or one of the specified keywords by entering search terms into the appropriate box.
3. You can also define how many results you want on the page, what language and what file type you’re looking for, all with menus.
4. Advanced Search lets you type in a Top Level Domain (like .co.uk) in the “Search within site of domain” box to restrict results.
5. And you can click the “Date, usage rights, numeric range and more” link to access more advanced features.
6. Save time – most of these advanced features are also available in Google’s front page search box, as command line parameters.
7. Google’s main search invisibly combines search terms with the Boolean construct “AND”. When you enter smoke fire – it looks for smoke AND fire.
8. To make Google search for smoke or fire, just type smoke OR fire
9. Instead of OR you can type the | symbol, like this: smoke | fire
10. Boolean connectors like AND and OR are case sensitive. They must be upper case.
11. Search for a specific term, then one keyword OR another by grouping them with parentheses, like this: water (smoke OR fire)
12. To look for phrases, put them in quotes: “there’s no smoke without fire”
13. Synonym search looks for words that mean similar things. Use the tilde symbol before your keyword, like this: eggplant
14. Exclude specific key words with the minus operator. new pram -ebay excludes all results from eBay.
15. Common words, like I, and, then and if are ignored by Google. These are called “stop words“.
16. The plus operator makes sure stop words are included. Like: fish +and chips
17. If a stop word is included in a phrase between quote marks as a phrase, the word is searched for.
18. You can also ask Google to fill in a blank. Try: Christopher Columbus discovered *
19. Search for a numerical range using the numrange operator. For example, search for Sony TV between £300 and £500 with the string Sony TV £300..£500
20. Google recognises 13 main file types through advanced search, including all Microsoft Office Document types, Lotus, PostScript, Shockwave Flash and plain text files.
21. Search for any filetype directly using the modifier filetype:[filetype extension]. For example: soccer filetype:pdf
22. Exclude entire file types, using the same Boolean syntax we used to exclude key words earlier: rugby -filetype:doc
23, In fact, you can combine any Boolean search operators, as long as your syntax is correct. An example: “sausage and mash” -onions filetype:doc
24. Google has some very powerful, hidden search parameters, too. For example “intitle” only searches page titles. Try intitle:herbs
25. If you’re looking for files rather than pages – give index of as the intitle: parameter. It helps you find web and FTP directories.
26. The modifier inurl only searches the web address of a page: give inurl:spices a go.
27. Find live webcams by searching for: inurl:view/view.shtml
28. The modifier inanchor is very specific, only finding results in text used in page links.
29. Want to know how many links there are to a site? Try link:sitename – for example link:www.mozilla.org
30. Similarly, you can find pages that Google thinks are related in content, using the related: modifier. Use it like this: related:www.microsoft.com
31. The modifier info:site_name returns information about the specified page.
32. Alternatively, do a normal search then click the “Similar Pages” link next to a result.
33. Specify a site to search with the site: modifier – like this: search tips site:www.paakteach.wordpress.com
34. The above tip works with directory sites like www.dmoz.org and dynamically generated sites.
35. Access Google Directory – a database of handpicked and rated sites – at directory.google.com
36. The Boolean operators intitle and inurl work in Google directory, as does OR.
37. Use the site: modifier when searching Google Images, at images.google.com. For example: dvd recorder site:www.amazon.co.uk
38. Similar, using “site:.com” will only return results from .com domains.
39. Google News (news.google.com) has its own Boolean parameters. For example “intext” pulls terms from the body of a story.
40. If you use the operator “source:” in Google News, you can pick specific archives. For example: heather mills source:daily_mail
41. Using the “location:” filter enables you to return news from a chosen country. location:uk for example.
42. Similarly, Google Blogsearch (blogsearch.google.com) has its own syntax. You can search for a blog title, for example, using inblogtitle:
43. The general search engine can get very specific indeed. Try movie: to look for movie reviews.
44. The modifier film: works just as well!
45. Enter showtimes and Google will prompt you for your postcode. Enter it and it’ll tell you when and where local films are showing.
46. For a dedicated film search page, go to www.google.co.uk/movies
47. If you ticked “Remember this Location” when you searched for show times, the next time you can enter the name of a current film instead.
48. Google really likes movies. Try typing director: The Dark Knight into the main search box.
49. For cast lists, try cast: name_of_film
50. The modifier music: followed by a band, song or album returns music reviews.