I have compiled a list of best google tools to help you speed up your search experience. The goal is to for you to find what you need, with the most amount of search precision and time savings. Most people use simple search terms and don't even know that Google search has a deep suite of tools and tricks.
Yes, that's right, Google search is a skill that is learned. And this article will help you get closer to finding exactly what you want and becoming a search 'expert'.
While there are hundreds (probably thousands!) of hacks and tricks to Google search, below are a list of the most used. While you are reading this article, take time to try each one out as you go through them.
Let's get started.
By simply wrapping your search query in quotes, your results will be filtered to specifically what you want.
Exercise: Create an explicit phrase now by entering "Chinese martial arts", wrapped in quotes - instead of ... Chinese martial arts. Now try both and witness the different results. Using an explicit phrase command in your search is the most basic and powerful way to accurate search results.
Another powerful command is the exclusion, and it's quite simple. To help filter your search and exclude certain keywords that you don't want associated to your search, simply add the - symbol before the word.
Exercise: Enter into goolge the explicit phrase, "russian dance". Click enter and witness the results. Now add the exclusion command - US to exclude US from the search. Click enter and witness the different search results.
You may not want to limit your search to just the values entered into your search query, so by adding the OR command you will be able to group your results for greater accuracy and less 'search clutter. This command can be useful if you are not sure which term is best.
Exercise: In your search, type 'japanese tea ceremony' and select enter. Now type, asian tea ceremony and select enter. Now, type japanese OR asian tea ceremony and see the results.
allintext: is Google's search syntax for searching only in the body text of documents and ignoring links, URLs, and titles. This command can be used for a number of applications, but basically if you are looking for something that contains certain terms within the same body text, then this is your command. An example may be if you are trying to find details about a specific persona and a location they may have been in, you would search those together trying to locate the correct article.
This is also a great text for teachers trying to see if their students are swiping stuff off the internet.
Using the allin: command, we can simply add "title" at the end of our command to find content that has specific terms within it's title. Pretty simple; here's an example: allintitle: peru blind
Exercise: Begin with the example just given, allintitle: philippines escrima and examine your results. Once you see how this allintitle: command works, then search for three unique queries using this command and check out what your results are against entries just using the title words.
Sometimes you may be looking for content that is within the URL structure itself, such as a specific subdomain or permalink. Again, pretty easy ... just use the allin command again with "url" at the end of the command. here's an example: allinurl:academy.mykarateschool
Exercise: Think about a favorite website you know of and use the allinurl: command to see if there is a blog by typing allinurl:companyname.blog. Once you're comfortable with this command, try using for three separate instance and examine your results.
More times than not, a site doesn't provide an on site search function. That's fine, you can do it with Google, here's how. Type site: then the url, then wrap the text you're searching for. It's pretty simple. Here's an example site:www.onlinestudiomastery.com "teach yoga online"
Exercise: Go ahead and do your own search on this website looking for a specific keyword. Make is a it difficult and examine your results. Do this exercise three times, and it will become part of your search toolkit.
This is a sweet search command you will start using more than most I've listed, the related: command. When you are trying to gather information and your knowledge is pretty limited to only a few locations you know of, use this command to locate related websites to the ones you already know of. here's an example related:jissenkobudo.com
Exercise: Think of three of the most common websites (excluding social media), that you go to for information that you enjoy, it may be a blog, shopping site or vlog. If you can't think of anything right now, here's one of my own common related searches... I love Jeep Wranglers, my (Jeep may as well be one of my kids), so I am regularly looking for new, cool info specifically around this one topic. One of the popular sites for Jeep owners is extremeterrain.com, so in this example I will enter related:extremeterrain.com. Try it yourself to see the results. Now, using three different topics that you are interested in, use the related: command to quickly find great content around the topic you're searching for. Cool, huh?
Looking for referencing sites that are linking back to a specific site? For example, maybe we are looking for a page that is linking to the Online Studio Mastery website because something popped up in Google Alerts. Easy, using the link: command followed by the url, we can get a list of all sites that are linking to this page. In this example, you may want to enter link:onlinestudiomastery.com
The more detailed your link is, the more accurate your search results will be.
Exercise: Using the example I gave above, do a link: command search for all sites linking to Online Studio Mastery . Examine the results. Then, run three link searches on your own from specific websites you frequent, possibly your own blog.
Often times there different terms are used in content that express the same thing. To locate synonyms or similar words, simply use the "~" command following your search query, and before the word you are looking to gain similar results from. Here's an example "goju karate" ~kata. This result will give you results that include similar results to "kata" such as forms, techcnique, (kata names), etc.
Exercise: This might take some thought, but stay committed and try it out. Your results at first may not be what you expected, but keep trying and you'll begin getting very interesting search results. Using the format in the example above, change up the words to suit a topic you regularly search. After you do this, examine your results. Now, do a search of the same terms but remove the "~" symbol. Examine the difference in your results. Be sure to practice this type of search three times to get comfortable with it before you move on to the next.
Most people don't realize that they can use Google as a dictionary via the Google Knowledge Graph. It's really cool, simply add the command define: before your the word you want defined. Google will give you back a definition and an audio function to hear the correct pronunciation of the word.
Exercise: Define three words that are complicated. Can't think of any right now? No worries, try these:
So you can't remember the word in that famous quote, or that lyric to the song stuck in your head. Use the wildcard command simply by entering an asterisk "*" in place of that word. Example: you are the * of my life
Exercise: Using the example given above, chillout and listen to that Stevie Wonder classic and take a break from the hard Google Search learning you've been doing. Once the song is over, give it a go and search three more classics you want to listen to right now. Try the classic Don Ho, tiny * in my wine song (I added "song"). Or this, song: don't stop *
Refine your search by location is pretty simple. You may be looking for specific events or news about a part of the world and using the location: command will help you refine your search and save you time. An example might be, karate school location:chicago
Exercise: Using the example given above, test the results against a standard search query by removing the location: command. Examine your results. Now search for your favorite band or comedian, search for a movie playing in a city or possibly a specific type of event. You can even get specific demographic details such as crime rates by using this command to generate more precise results over a standard query.
Looking for that report you saw last year with some interesting details? Maybe there is a powerpoint presentation you want to find, or a magazine edition from two years ago you remember reading online in a PDF format. Simple, use the filetype: command modifier.
First, simply enter your search keywords, then the command filetype: followed by the file type.
Exercise: Here's an interesting use of combining search commands, I am going to use both the site: and filetype: commands to locate all of the marketing guides from the Online Studio Mastery website. By entering, site:onlinestudiomastery.com filetype:pdf. Examine your results.
Not always the most accurate, but Google claims it is getting better by the hour. I use Google Translate all the time for quick translations in any language (I mostly use if for Japanese). By simply typing "translate" then enter the word you want translated followed by "to" and then the language, the Google Knowledge Graph will give you a clean translation and most likely an audio function to listen to the proper pronunciation.
Wrap up: Becoming a search master is a skill, it takes time. With the few tips above you will cut a enormous amount of time and effort in finding the accurate content you are looking for, thus speeding up your workflows and making your time more useful. I hope this helped.
The Google Engineers are always adding new search function, with voice and home being the fastest emerging methods currently. I believe the landscape of content search is going to radically change within the next 5 years, so stay ahead of the curve and continue to discover new search methods, tricks and hacks.