How to Search Google More Efficiently

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How to Search Google More Efficiently

Google is an excellent search tool, but many of us do not know how to use it effectively and efficiently. Here are some tips that will aid you in your search and will help you arrive at the most exact and reliable results, without a lot of extra browsing required.

1. Use the Tabs

At the top of every search page are tabs for different kinds of information. You will see tabs that say Web, Image, News and More. Use these tabs to define what kind of search you wish to conduct, be it of articles on the web (you would choose News) or pictures of something in particular (Image). Using these tabs to refine your search can cut the search time dramatically and provide you with the results you are looking for.

2. Use Quotes

When you are searching for something specific in Google, such as a name or a particular website, place quotes around the text in order to get exact results. By placing the search parameters in quotes, you are telling the search engine to search for the whole phrase, and not just part of it. For example, if you want to search for "Crazy Christmas Sweaters", the search engine will look for that phrase in the exact order you typed it. If you do not use quotation marks, it will search for the phrase in any order.

3. Use a Hyphen to Exclude Words

When searching for a word with an ambiguous meaning, for example Mustang, you may get a variety of results dealing with cars, horses and everything in between. But if you are searching only for the horse, you can eliminate any results dealing with the car by typing

Mustang -car

This tells the search engine to search for Mustangs and to remove any results that pertain to the car.

4. Use a Colon to Search Specific Sites

If you are looking for content on a specific site, but can't seem to remember the URL, use the word 'site' followed by a colon to indicate which site you would like Google to search. For instance,

Barak Obama site:

This will search for all of the content on Barak Obama that is available on CNN's website, removing results from other sites on Barak Obama.

5. The Asterisk Wildcard

This is one of the most useful tools that Google has to offer. When you use an asterisk in a Google search, it will create a placeholder that will be filled in later on by the search engine. This is a great way to find song lyrics or the name of a book that you can't remember. This is how you would type it:

"Come * right now * me"

From this, Google would most likely assume that you are searching for the song "Come Together" by The Beatles.

6. Find Similar Sites

When there is a particular site that you like, such as, for instance, and you want to find sites that are similar, there is a special trick for finding similar information. Search


When you search the link above, a number of different sites that are similar in content to Amazon will show up, leading you to great new sites to browse.

7. Search for Multiple Words at Once

Ever want to search for something specific, but you are unsure of the correct wording? Google search can be made flexible and search for multiple phrases at once. This trick will help you narrow down your search and find exactly what you are looking for. This is how you would enter it:

"Best toppings for hot chocolate" OR "What are the best toppings for hot chocolate"

Also, you don't necessarily need to use the quotes. If you are searching for two words like

chocolate OR white chocolate

Sites will show up that have to do with chocolate or white chocolate.

8. Using Your Location

Because Google can now know your location (unless you adjust your settings otherwise), you can easily find places to eat and attractions close to you with a simple search. For instance, if you try

Pizza places nearby

Google will use your location to find all of the pizza places nearby you, including the distance and rating of those pizza places.

9. Start Out Simply

When you are searching for a particular thing, it is best to start out simply and gradually get more complicated. For instance, using the example we provided above,

First try: hot chocolate

Second try: toppings for hot chocolate

Third try: What are the best toppings for hot chocolate

This will gradually refine the search and bring up the results that you want. Websites usually phrase the same information in a number of different ways, and using this technique you will be able to search as many of them as possible.

10. Search With Words Websites Use

A common mistake many people make when they are conducting a Google search is to phrase the searching according to how they would say it to a friend. However, websites do not usually use the same phrasing and therefore you could end up with lousy results. For instance,

"My head hurts" should be replaced with "headache relief"

Use this terminology when searching, especially for medical and health related information, and know that you are getting more reliable results.

11. Money and Unit Conversions

You may not know it, but Google has money and unit conversions built into its site. This way, you can accurately calculate and convert in an instant from miles to kilometers, for instance by typing in 'miles to km', or dollars to pounds by typing 'USD to British Pound Sterling'. You may find yourself using this tool a lot more than you thought.

Now that you have the best Google tools out there, it's time to get searching!