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Quick and Efficient: a Common Guide to Google Search

The continuous stream of information keeps flowing to us. Advertising banners and mailings lurk on every website. And to take to the internet like a duck to water, you need to learn how to filter this stream, steer it in the right direction, and quickly find the information you are looking for.

Search engines constantly offer us new ways of filtering and design new tools to make life easier for us. But SEO specialists keep up with those updates, doing everything possible to dish up advertising content in the form of useful, informative tips.

I will share some obvious (and not so obvious) Google search tricks that will help you save time and effort.

Use Operators to Filter Your Search Results

Search operators are mainly used in context advertising. For example, marketers use them to narrow results so as not to waste the advertising budget. But ordinary users benefit from mastering the smart search, too, since these operators can streamline their research process. Using the operators regularly and wisely will make your search results look like a well-organized repository, not a random set of articles and materials.

There are many operators, so I will focus on those that I use regularly. For example, quotation marks help me find the results that include a specific keyphrase. It comes in handy when searching for the source of information or the author of a specific quote.

If you are looking for a social media account, put @ (“at”) sign in front of the account name. To find a hashtag match, enter the # (“hash”) symbol in front of the search query.

You can exclude some words from your search by using the “-” (minus) operator. For example, if you need to remove specific references from the results and look for alternative meanings of the word “duck,” you can eliminate irrelevant words. As you can see below, we have removed articles related to the word “.domestic” from the output.

If you got lost on a big data website, the “site:” operator will limit your search to a specific website and help you find the article you need there. Enter the keyword, add a space, and type “site:domain name”.

You can take things a step further and specify the word’s location. By default, Google search robots look for the query in the content of the pages. To search for pages with a particular word in the URL, we use the “inurl” operator. The “intitle” search operator will help you find pages with the specific word in the title. An “intext” query will bring up the results containing the particular word in the content. Use the “inanchor:” operator to search for pages that have links with the specified keywords.

If we want to limit the search results to articles that have “brand development” in the title, our query should look like this:

To get results related to any of several keywords (usually similar in meaning), we use the “OR” operator. In this case, the search will return results related to any of the specified words. This method extends the search zone and works perfectly with synonyms.

If you remember the first and the last word of a phrase or a sentence, the “*” (“asterisk”) sign will tell the search engine that it can replace it with any word or put a phrase in its place. You can place the “*” sign instead of every forgotten or random word.

If you are searching for specific file types, use the “filetype:” operator and specify the file format: pdf, docx, etc. For example, here’s how to look for PDF documents that contain the specified keywords.

If you want to search through results that have multiple specified keywords at once, add the “&” sign in front of each word. You can enter a lot of words, but remember that each word narrows down your search area.

Set Options for Websites or Images in Advanced Search

Supreme Google searchers might enjoy the advanced search for web pages and images. It offers point filters — for example, you can search within a specific date range to get the most relevant results. You can also select the language from the list and limits the search results to the region where the article was published.

Advanced Web Page Search: https://www.google.com/advanced_search

Advanced Image Search: https://www.google.com/advanced_image_search

Do not forget about the tools that Google offers us

Google is constantly expanding its tools that we can use at work or during leisure time. Google calculator allows us to make calculations right in the search bar, just the way the currency converter does. As soon as you type “$100 in rubles,” the widget will show you the result.

Pay attention to Google’s prediction service. Suggestions show up whenever you begin to type words. And do not forget about the image search. To do it, go to Google Images and click the camera icon.

This feature helps users find the origin of the image, see where the picture has been used, or just identify a movie from a screenshot.

Sometimes it is useful to take a fresh look at the tools already at your fingertips, especially at the ones you use daily. And remember that a search engine is a robot, albeit advanced. Try to be accurate and specific whenever you type in the search box. Google smart, not hard, young padawans, and may the force be with you.

Aleksandra Zavalei, ORM Specialist at Dataduck

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