Power searching with Google

So I’ve recently been called the ‘research whiz kid’ here at the office, and while I was supposed to gladly show the team how to yield better search results on Google, I thought I’d offer some advice here as well. Let me start by mentioning that I took an online course last summer that was offered by Google, for free, over the course of four weeks – Power Searching with Google.

Lessons, assessments, and activities took place three times a week by a Google search expert, and upon passing the final assessment a printable certificate would be emailed. The course was very informative, I learnt new methods of searching which eventually saved me time and effort of having to endlessly browse for that one suitable search result. It wasn’t too technical either, and the presenter managed to develop my interest in what would otherwise have been the equivalent of a boring lecture in my senior year at university (which was literally last April, yep time flies). I did pass the course, and until today I refer back to the methods that I learnt on how to effectively conduct a search. Luckily, I found the below tips on the Internet – they’re practically a wrap up of the entire course, so DO check them out because it’s really worth it!

Hope you find these useful!

Google: Certificate of Completion


Google Search Tips

  1. Explicit Phrase: Let’s say you are looking for content about internet marketing.  Instead of just typing internet marketing into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase. To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes. Example: “internet marketing”
  2. Exclude Words: Let’s say you want to search for content about internet marketing, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term advertising.  To do this, simply use the “-” sign in front of the word you want to exclude. Example Search: internet marketing –advertising
  3. Site Specific Search: Often, you want to search a specific website for content that matches a certain phrase.  Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the “site:somesite.com” modifier. Example: “internet marketing” site:www.smallbusinesshub.com
  4. Similar Words and Synonyms: Let’s say you want to include a word in your search, but want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms.  To do this, use the “~” in front of the word. Example: “internet marketing” ~professional
  5. Specific Document Types: If you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier “filetype:”.  For example, you might want to find only PowerPoint presentations related to internet marketing. Example: “internet marketing” filetype:ppt
  6. This OR That: By default, when you do a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search.  If you are looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator.  (Note: The OR has to be capitalized). Example: internet marketing OR advertising
  7. Word Definitions: If you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the “define:” command. Example: define:plethora

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