How to Google

minus

cat -caterpillar

plus

plus is no longer supported. Quotations must instead be used. Quotes imply that the word within the quote must be in the page somewhere. But it’s more complicated than that.

where is “waldo”

allin

there’s also an intitle and allintitle according to googleguides.com, but I think google stopped supporting intitle.

allintitle: where is waldo

Look at the results of intitle: the actual operator is searched for, but not in allintitle:

phrases

"I love the cookie monster"

Searches a specific phrase. I found this to be useful when searching computer error codes.

star

"I love the * monster"

star ( * ) is like a wildcard whord(s). In the image below, star was replaced with “Loch Ness”

site:

25mm site:olympus.com -site:cn.olympus.com

Limits your search based on sites/exclude sites

OR

coffee cup OR mug

will search for cup or mug. The “OR” has to be capitalized. You can chain as many “OR” as you want.

filetype:

"the elements of java style” filetype:pdf

Searches only for pdf files.

~

java ~mac ~problem

searches for synonmys for mac and problem. In this case, “mac” is the same as “osx” and “os x”. and “problem” is the same as “trouble”, “issue”, “error”

What Google Does in the Background

hyphens

when you type

mid-range

google searches for

mid range, mid-range, and mid.range

stemming

when you type

children

google searches for

child, children, and children's

stop words

google ignores words suchs as the, on, and if.

term order and proximity

search results are ranked higher if the content in the result has the same search term ordering and if the words you searched for is close together in the website.

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