I never thought writing a blog about google search, why would I, when every second, google processes around 40,000 searches, which means over 3.5 billion a day. Interestingly, in 1998 google was serving 10K searches per day. With this number of searches, do we need any tips and guidance on how to google… Well to an extent we do, if we want accurate results in less time.
In this blog, I would like to walk you through how I search Google or should I rephrase it to “How I Google it”, and in the process explain some tricks and tips. No doubt, Google does a pretty good job of guessing what you’re looking for, but if you want to make the results as precise as possible you should use “operators” to tell Google exactly what you want. It’s the same concept of telling a telephone operator.
A golden tip before I explain operator search or punctuation marks, don’t add any spaces between the operator and your search terms. A search for site:myblogs.pw will work, but site: myblogs.pw won’t.
Explicit Term: If you are looking for something very explicit then add your search phrase within quotation marks, Eg “digital marketing experts”
Exclude: Just by adding a minus in front of a word you can exclude those words and refine your search further. For example, if you wanted to search for varieties of orange not about orange colour you can use the phrase orange varieties –colour. This will drop any search results referring to orange colour.
Either / Or: Google will always look for combination of terms you type in, but you can always tell Google to look for multiple words. By just adding | or OR(Note: The OR has to be capitalized) between the words. See below results for search term Middle East Bloggers and Middle | East | Bloggers
FileType: Now what if you are looking for a certain file type in your search results, just add filetype: operator. For Example: “mockup design” filetype:psd (please note the quotation mark I used here)
Phonebook: It’s not unusual that you get sales calls from banks and agents and you want to find who called you, or if, all you have is a phone number and needs to find out who called you, just google it with the phonebook operator. For example, phonebook:+971551234567 (Works primarily in the United States, but it works in other countries too) Now head to google and do a quick search of your mobile number and view the results, don’t be surprised with the results. 🙂 Additionally, you can use https://sync.me or their mobile apps to find who called you.
Wildcards: I guess you are familiar with windows environment searching using asterisk * as wild cards, and did you know Google supports wildcard searches? For example digital marketing *.LinkedIn
Define: How about you want to know the definitions of words, then why don’t you use define: operator string. For Example define:google (now don’t start finding the definition of your names.)
Similar Words and Synonyms: What if you want results of a word and also want to include the results that contain the synonyms. Just use this operator ~your search phrase or keyword.
Site Specific Searches: How many times you saw some good article on Facebook, or any other website, and you don’t remember the url, start the query with site:name.com and your search phrase. This operator can also be used when a specific site doesn’t support built-in search feature.
Calculator: Are you still using calculators, haven’t you tried Google for calculation? Try today, currently Google supports /*-+
Links: If you are a backlink freak like me, then google can help you to make a quick backlink search, use the link: operator for example link: your url(if you are a serious about back links, there are some really good tools, which I suggest you should use.)
Term location: Tell Google that you are trying to search in these locations within a site, by using the following operator inurl:, intitle:, intext:, inanchor:
Cache: Did your favorite site just changed it’s look and feel, and do you want to look at the old version? Use the cache operator as Google keeps a comprehensive cache database of many websites, and you can search this database.
Numeric Ranges: This is a rarely used feature, but highly useful. If you want to find something between two values just use the search with two periods. (..) For example Indian Cricket Captains 1985..2015 This type of search is useful when your query is based on years and price. Another example for price “air ticket to Dubai” 100..500
Search the Stock and Flight Details by just using the ticker symbols or flight numbers. Try this now Goog (use your stock ticker) for Stock and EK568 (your flight number) for Flight Details.
And finally, don’t worry to remember all these operators or punctuation marks, you can always use the advanced search to refine your search.
Altaf Hussein is the Founder of Ci CORP a digital innovation company based in Dubai, certified digital marketer, graphic designer & photographer. He also believes in knowledge transfer and that's the reason he is been contributing articles to our site about his expertise.