Ten Easy Google Search Tips & Tricks
Note: Some of these tips work with Bing and other search engines too! Try them and find out.
- Use quotes to search for an exact phrase: Here’s a simple trick that can help you narrow down your search results in a jiffy. Searching for a phrase in quotes will return search results containing the same words in the same order. This can really save you time if you’re looking for a particular phase.
- Use an asterisk in quotes to search for unknown or variable words: Did you know you can search for a phrase when you’re not sure of a word in phrase by using an asterisk to replace the unknown word. For example, I just searched for: “Those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the * ” returned: “Those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside ” (JFK). Or “A * in the hand is worth * in the * “. You know the result for that.
- Use a minus sign to eliminate results containing certain words: You can streamline your searches by using the minus sign to remove those words from your search results. For instance: Search for Lasagna recipes -meat sauce. Note the – minus sign is right next the word you want to eliminate – not a dash between the words. The search for Lasagna recipes -meat sauce results in recipes for lasagna which don’t include meat.
- Search specific websites for keywords: Use the “site :” function (Google only) that searches only a specific website. For example, if you want to see how many times North Korea was mentions on CNN’s web site, type “North Korea site:CNN.com”
- Search news archives all the way back to the mid-1880s: Google News has a feature that lets you search back over 100+ years’ worth of archived news from newspapers from around the world. Just visit this page: http://news.google.com/newspapers
- Use vs. to compare foods. Want to know the difference between wheat and spelt? Type “wheat vs. spelt” in the search form. You’ll get a comparison. Type in “quinoa vs. rice” and see what you get.
- Use search to give you definitions of words. For example: “Define:Trenchant” (no quotes needed).You can even look up slang. Define: Booyah or Define: Bae.
- You can use the microphone icon on Google to flip a coin or give you a sweet love quote. Go to https://www.google.com and click the microphone icon and say “flip a coin” or “love quote”. If you’re shy you can type “flip a coin” (no quotes) and get a random heads or tails every time. Good for solving arguments. I do this all the time with EB. Tails you lose, heads I win.
- Play a game. That’s right you can play Atari Break out on Google. Go to Google and click on Images (at the top right). In the image search form type “Atari Breakout” (no quotes) and press Enter.
- Use the tabs in Google search. On the top of every search you’ll see several tabs. Normally you’ll see Web, Image, News, and More. Use these tabs to help define what kind of search you want to do. If you’re looking for images, click the Image tab. If it’s news you’re looking for, click the “News” tab. It’s very simple but many people don’t even notice those tabs. They’re there to help you!.
Of course there are dozens and dozens more tips and tricks you can use to help you find whatever your looking for… but these 10 will get you off to a good start.