Do you ever get furious when searching for something through Google? With the millions of websites on the WWW, you know what you’re searching for has to be out there somewhere, but no matter how many times you slightly vary or completely change your Google search query, Google doesn’t return what you’re looking for. Use these Google search shortcuts & tricks in the first part of our seven-part Google Search Shortcuts & Tricks series, and start getting the most out of one of the world’s most powerful search engines.
1. Web history
Have you ever visited a website and a couple weeks later, you can’t seem to find that website again? Google’s Web History allows you to search your online history and keeps a log of places you’ve been on the web. Access your online history at www.google.com/history.
2. Keep it simple
Google recommends starting every search with a basic name or word and refining from there on. So if you’re looking for a place in your town, enter the place name and your town or zip code:
cvs charleston sc
3. Ignore spelling
Google has a built-in spell checker, so don’t worry about making sure you have the correct spelling. Google will default to the most common spelling of your search query, even if you misspell it. Try a search for ‘gooogle’.
4. Think like a web page
Think about how something is most likely to be said on a web page. When you search with words that are more likely be on a web page, you’ll find better results.
For instance, instead of searching ‘my head hurts’ search for ‘headache’ because medical websites would use ‘headache’ on their pages.
5. Less is more
Along the same lines of keeping it simple, using one or two terms in your search query will usually return the broadest results. Didn’t find what you were looking for? Add more words to narrow and refine your search.
6. Descriptive words
Relevant results come from unique word queries, i.e. [metallica ringtones] will give you better results than [metallica sounds]. Caveat: your search may not match any pages you’re looking for if the unique word isn’t the one most people use.
7. Google isn’t case-sensitive
Don’t bother capitalizing words. To Google, wall street journal is the same as Wall Street Journal.
8. Punctuation doesn’t matter
Not only does Google not pay attention to capitalization, it ignores punctuation too.
seafood, charleston? is the same as seafood charleston
9. Words and characters that matter (or don’t)
Is the or & important to your query? For instance, is it in a book title? Put quotation marks around “the” to let Google know that it matters. On the other hand, if you don’t want to include a word, precede it with a minus symbol ( – ). For example, Google cookie recipe –chocolate to find a recipe for your friend who is allergic to chocolate.
To become a Google power searcher, start using these search techniques and stay tuned for our next Google Search Shortcuts & Tricks.