Improving Google searches

Let’s face it, we all want accurate results but what we often get is often short of the mark. Web searches often give us something completely different to what we think we are asking for, so there are ways to make searching easier. Learn quickly from these steps and you will be searching like a pro in no time!

1. Use Descriptive Words

Google will try to give you exactly what you search for, so it will fail to give you what you want if you don’t describe what you want it to find.

A friend showed me a vintage light switch she found in the garden, it had the word “vitreous” on it, and searching vitreous will return about the eye from Google, but vitreous light switch returned the fact it was a Crabtree Bakelite light switch from the 1930s. 

2. Don't use too many words

Another problem is using too many words to describe what you want. If you want a Chinese restaurant to deliver to you, then asking Google: “Where can I find a Chinese restaurant that delivers” is not going to help your search.

However, “Chinese Restaurants near me” will do the right job.

Although, I do find “me” doesn’t work that well, since my devices tend to think they are in Kent most of the time, so give it your location as town or city in your county.

3. Use logic in searches

You can introduce logic into your searches. If you use AND, you can tell Google to look for both phrases. If you use OR, you can tell Google to return either phrases. If you use a minus sign before a phrase, Google will exclude that phrase from the search.

You can also use brackets () to group logic in searches, so you could say: (this AND that) or other.

4. Use quotes for specific words

If you enclose your phrase or part of your phrase in quotes, then Google will look for that specifically in the results.

Related to that is the wildcard, * which enables you to replace words you don’t know in a phrase and it will return specific results around that phrase.

An example is “Come * right now * me” will return The Beatles – Come Together.

5. Use controls

results before 2000.
results after 2020.
between 2000 and 2020.
from the country code entered, in this case .in is India.
intitle:Apple notebook
results that contain either Apple OR notebook in the title of the result.
allintitle:Apple notebook
results that contain both Apple AND notebook in the title of the result.
intext:Apple notebook
results that contain either Apple OR notebook in the BODY of the result.
allintext:Apple notebook
results that contain both Apple AND notebook in the BODY of the result.
results that are PDF files
the definition of a word
an older version of that site or page if it exists in the cache. Sometimes a site gets deleted so you can see if its in the cache.
a proximity search of X number of words between two words. Use: word1 around(2) word2.
the weather information for Hastings.
the stock information for Microsoft
a map of the location specified
movie:Turning Red
movie details about the movie, Turning Red.
news articles from a certain source.
a type of conversion, so you can say 32 in Celsius to convert temperature or in metres to convert from feet to metres.
sites related to the chosen site.

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