There was a time I use to spend a lot of time on Google searching for something and sometimes, I won’t find exactly what I was looking for or before I will find it, I must have wasted a lot of time.
I know a lot of people still face this problem. A lot of people get frustrated because they can’t find what they are looking for. You don’t have to be. Google doesn’t have all the answers to your questions, but understanding how Google and other search engines work and learning some search tricks can help save you a lot of time while still finding exactly what you are looking for.
So how does Google and other search engines work?
When you enter a phrase in Google search for instance, Google crawls the entire web looking for websites that contain the same or similar keywords and then displays them (according to the ones it considered to be the most relevant and safest) for you as a result.
As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, Google looks for keywords and not every word in you question or phrase.
Keywords here simply means the words that Google considers to be the most important.
There are some words that Google and search engines in general ignore when searching for your query unless you typed only these words. These words are known as stop words and they include words like on, is, was, a, etc. You might consider not including those words when next you want to search on Google since it will ignore them anyway.
Having said that, here are some simple tricks I use to get result fast on Google.
#1. Type only the keyword (the words you consider to be the most important). Since Google will ignore the stop words, why bother including them in your search query?
For example, instead of searching “my laptop screen turn black after booting how do I fix that?”, you can simply search “laptop black screen solution”. Remember Google is a robot not a human being.
#2. Use quotation marks to find the websites that contains exactly the words you are looking for. When you put your search query in quotation marks, Google will only bring out websites that contains the exact same phrase the exact way you typed it.
The image below shows an example.
#3. Use asterisk (*) to search for popular quotes or phrases that you can’t remember some of its word. An example is if you want to search for the statement “the quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog” but can’t remember the whole statement, you can put the words you remember in asterisk and Google will do the rest.
#4. Adding hyphen (-) before a word tells Google to exclude the word while crawling for results.
A typical example is when you search for the word “jaguar”, Google will show you result for Jaguar cars, but that might not be the type of jaguar you have in mind.
To exclude Jaguar cars from the result in this scenario, simply type jaguar -cars in the search box. Be mindful not to leave a space between the hyphen and the word.
#5. Use double period (..) to search for range. For example, if you want to search for laptops between the range of 60k to 80k in Nigeria, you simply type laptops N60k..N80k.
#6. Using colon (:)
a. To get result only from a specific website, use the following format. site:site URL keyword. An example is shown in the image below.
b. To find websites relating to a particular website, use the following format; related:site URL. An example is shown in the image below.
c. To get information about a particular website, use the following format; info:site URL. Here is an example.
d. To get results for only a specific type of file, use the filetype operator in the following format; filetype:file_format keyword. For example, filetype:mp3 make it shine by victorious.
Observe that there is no space between the colon and the preceding words.
#7. If you want to get the meaning of a word, simply type define before the word.
#8. Do you know that you can search for an image by dragging and dropping the image into Google image search box?
#9. If you want to limit search result to a specific time period, click on “search tool” button, then click on “Any time” and select the time period you want.
You can also select a custom time range by clicking on the “Custom range…” and put your custom time period.
#10. You can quickly convert units by typing it in the search box as shown in the image below.
#11. To find the weather condition of a particular city or place, simply type the weather followed by the city name. An example is shown in the image below.
Hope that these tips helps you get exactly what you are looking for faster on Google.
If there is any other trick you know, share with us using the comment box below.