It’s truly wonderful to live in a time when most of the information available in the world is available at your fingertips. If you’re like most people, you turn to Google if you’re looking for something on the internet. But sometimes you’re not quite able to know exactly what you’re looking for. These 5 tips and tricks will help you up your search engine game so you’ll always find exactly what you’re looking for if it exists.
Use advanced search
You probably enter the search terms and go for a regular search immediately after entering Google’s simple and clean user interface. But the search engine has an “advanced search” feature that can help you narrow down your search to fine granular detail. For example, you can search for specific words, exact phrases, or a range of numbers.
You can also include search results only in particular languages or from particular regions. If you are looking for information on a particular site but cannot because of its poor search functionality, you can also search for a particular domain here. Also, you can search images by image size, color, aspect ratio, usage rights, etc.
To access it, you can go to google.com/advanced_search on your smartphone or tablet. On the desktop, click on “Settings” at the bottom right of the screen on the Google search engine page, then select “Advanced search”
Exclude keywords you don’t need
Have you ever searched for something only to be inundated with lots of results that have something to do with the keyword separate connected because the latter has more information about it? Well, you can avoid situations like this by adding “-keyword” to exclude results related to that particular keyword.
For example, if you want to search for Tesla, the car company, and you don’t want to see results for Elon Musk, the company’s chief executive, you can enter the search term “Tesla -musk”. This will give you all the results to do with Tesla while excluding anything featuring Elon Musk.
Sometimes you know that the information you are looking for will be available as a certain file. For example, you might be looking for a PDF file or a spreadsheet. Google has a solution for this as well. At the beginning of your search query, add “filetype:” followed by the file extension you are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a pdf it would be “filetype:pdf” or if you are looking for a Microsoft excel spreadsheet it would be “filetype:xlsx”.
Translate directly from Google
Sometimes you are looking for a quick translation of a phrase or word in a particular language. You can do this without having to access the standalone website or the Google Translate user interface directly from Google. For example, if you want to know what a banana is called in Malayalam, search for “Banana in Malayalam”.
Not only will Google show the translation in a little widget at the top of your search results, but it will also tell you how it’s pronounced. But note that your mileage may vary depending on the language you search for, as the results may not always be completely accurate or appropriate for your usage.
Use basic boolean search operators for better searches
If you don’t want to get into Advanced Search, you can access some of its features directly from regular searches using basic Boolean operators. For example, you can use the boolean operator AND to get results containing two different search terms. Replace the AND with an OR and you can get results that contain either.