Google Search Techniques 101

This list of techniques is designed to help improve your searches using Google.

Things to remember when you use keywords to answer your query(search terms).

  • Every little word matters and it’s order e.g. “star dog” and “dog star” will give different results
  • Google can fix your spelling mistakes
  • Capital letters doesn’t matter and punctuation is ignored
  • Punctuation that matters in searches are $, # and +
  • Rank isn’t equivalent to authoritative source

How to Use Google to Put it All Together For Search Queries

  • The  Great Search – To be a good searcher is understanding the space of what is possible to find things on the net and to write a query that will limit or focus the attention of the search engine topic.
  • Google Search – Allows exploring, experimenting until you get something that focuses on the results that you want, most believable and best for your query.
  • Think broadly by using context terms.  Basically use a search term to understand physical objects in the world. E.g. “airplane piston engine diagram” airplane is the type of piston engine you want and diagram is the plan or image you want to see
  • Use Google’s Research tools and filters (both found on left sidebar) to always think outside the box in your search queries.  Use tools like images or news and combine with filters to narrow search e.g.  to find out if moss grows on Stonehenge

Advanced Techniques Using Operators

Operators are commands (either symbols or other words) that is added to a query that gives special instructions to Google about how you want to deal with a specific search term.

Advanced Operators:

  • to search specific sites  use “Site:” e.g.  site:harvard.edu
  • finding the definition of a word use “Define” e.g. define river
  • to find a file type like PDF, Doc, Txt, PPT, Docx, csv, dat, dmg, kml or kmz use “Filetype:” e.g. filetype:doc
  • finding a word in webpage title you use “Intitle:” e.g. intitle:media
  • to find information in a specific range of numbers, dates or prices use “..” e.g. earthquakes 1800..1900
  • finding a combination of words between words “word*word” e.g. writing*creative
  • to find information on something that excludes a particular result use “word” e.g. homer -simpson
  • to find an exact word use ” word ” e.g. “help”
  • to find a set of words use ” set of wordse.g. “give peace a chance”
  • combining ideas to search for pages including one out of a set of related terms or synonyms use “OR” e.g. telsa coils or jacob’s ladder
  • to find pages that has a specific word in the body of the text somewhere use “intext:” e.g. intext:earth
  • to search for your search term and its synonyms use “~” e.g. ~fast food
  • to search for web pages that have similar content to a given site use “related:” followed by website address e.g. related:www.wjs.com

Calculation and Conversion Operators:

  • to do basic calculations use “+, -, /, *”  it also gives you a calculator e.g. 24*6
  • to find the % of a number use “%” e.g. 13% of 74
  • you can also do trigonometry calculations such as: cos, sin, tan, … by using trigonometry (#) e.g. sin (64)
  • you can convert units to units like temp (c to f), weight (kg to lbs) or distance (km to miles) e.g. 56km to miles
  • you can convert measurements when increasing units e.g. 20 tablespoon of sugar to cups
  • you can convert currency to currency e.g. 20 euros to dollars NB: This is a guideline due to exchange rate fluctuations

Search Information Features:

  • for weather information in a city use “weather” followed by city and/or country e.g. weather sydney, australia
  • to see the time for a city use “time” followed by the city and/or country e.g. time singapore
  • to see the precise time of sunset or sunrise use “sunrise” or “sunset” followed by the city e.g. sunrise moscow
  • to find movies showing in your area use “movies” or current film name followed by area e.g. movies melbourne
  • to find a store, restaurant or business in your local area use a description followed by area code e.g. pizza 2067
  • to find information about symptoms and conditions type it e.g. dry skin gives summary and potential causes of dry skin
  • to see flight schedules to or from a particular destination use “flights from” or “flights to” followed by city e.g. flights from sydney to melbourne
  • you can track UPS or Fedex packages by typing the tracking number e.g. 1D88888T8888888
  • you can also ask questions and get answers e.g. currency of india, matt damon born, capital of malaysia, etc

Check Your Facts

It is very important to make sure that the information you receive is credible, “always do one more search“.

You can check the credibility by:

  1. reading the web address
  2. check and validate results using a custom range

Verify variant data by:

  1. verify the source of information using the precise information that you have
  2. you can confirm the fact by using generic description for what you seek
2 comments on “Google Search Techniques 101
  1. Great! This is the type of info that’s supposed to be shared across the web. Disgrace on the search engines{Google} for not positioning this up higher! Come on over and visit my website . Thanks =)

    • Thanks for your comment Amelia. It was interesting seeing your World Of Warcraft site (WOW Gold). Glad you found the Google Search information helpful. Search engines are good but word of mouth is better. Cheers! 🙂

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© Christopher Seeto and Aqua Black Cat, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Seeto and Aqua Black Cat with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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