Google: Love or hate it, but what will we do without it? Sure, there are other search engines out there; but let’s face it, Google has left them all in the dust, thanks to its speed and ease of use. What’s more, the search engine is packed with advanced search features that make life a lot easier.
Here’s the 1st of a three-part series on using these features and becoming A Google Search Expert!
Include And Exclude Keywords
Google understands most of the search terms you type into it. However, at times it will match only some of the word s you typed, showing limited results. To avoid this, just point out which keywords are the most important by adding a plus symbol (+) in front of words you would like to include in the search results.
And if the results you’re looking for get pushed off the page by similar yet irrelevant articles, adding a minus symbol (-) in front of keywords you don’t want to see will avoid them popping up in the first place. For example, “+cloud services -hybrid cloud” will provide search results about different cloud services while excluding results related to hybrid cloud.
Additionally, searching a phrase within double quotation marks guarantees to retrieve results that include only the exact phrase that matches your query.
Ever need to look for information from a specific website? Instead of visiting that website and sifting through different pages, Google makes it a breeze by allowing you to add “site:url” to the end of your search query.
For example, if you want to find what Forbes has written about security, simply head to Google’s homepage and type “security site: www.forbes.com.” This makes sure Google includes only pages from Forbes that are about security in your search results.
You can also limit search results to university and government websites by adding “site:.edu” or “site:.gov” to your search query. Combining this with the keyword manipulation trick above will narrow your search even more.
Use Google To Locate Files
While Google mainly focuses on indexing web pages, it also indexes publicly available files like PDFs and spreadsheets. To look for them, just type in“filetype:” after your search query. For example, typing“report filetype:pdf” will provide PDFs with “report” in the title.
Your Take Away
While these tips might not be the most exciting thing from the tech giant, they sure help businesses save time and work smarter instead of harder. And in today’s fast-paced business environment, little things like these make a huge difference. If you have questions about how to use Google products to streamline your daily routine and increase productivity, just give us a call at 604.986.8170.
Bob Milliken specializes in helping businesses with their IT needs. Our mission is to provide IT strategies, service and support that creates raving fans and builds long term lasting relationships. Bob can be reached at email@example.com.