You search but do you know how to search?
There are millions of searches performed every day. How many searches do you think there are world wide? Ready? Over 6 Billion searches on Google alone. The average person uses Google search 25 times a day. Thats the average according to FactBrain. It’s estimated that we check our phones 110 times a day so it could be very true.
“Google performs 12 Billion searches a month!”
The first tip is to use the tabs in Google search. On the top of every search are a number of tabs. Usually you’ll see Web, Image, News, and More. Using these tabs, you can help define what kind of search you need to do. If you need images, use the Image tab. If you are looking for a recent news article, use the News tab.
When searching for something specific, try using quotes to minimize the guesswork for Google search. When you put your search parameters in quotes, it tells the search engine to search for the whole phrase. For instance, if you search for Digital Camera Lenses, the engine will search for content that contains those three words in any order. However, if you search “Digital Camera Lenses”, it will search for that phrase exactly as you typed it.
3. Need to exclude words? Use a hyphen
Sometimes you may find yourself searching for a word with an ambiguous meaning. An example is Mustang. When you Google search for Mustang, you may get results for both the car made by Ford or the horse. If you want to cut one out, use the hyphen to tell the engine to ignore content with one of the other. See the example below.
4. Use a colon to search specific sites
There may be an instance where you need to Google search for articles or content on a certain website. The syntax is very simple and we’ll show you below.
Derek Jeter site:mba.com
5. Use the asterisk wildcard
The asterisk wildcard is one of the most useful ones on the list. Here’s how it works. When you use an asterisk in a search term on Google search, it will leave a placeholder that may be automatically filled by the search engine later. This is a brilliant way to find song lyrics if you don’t know all the words. Let’s look at the syntax.
“Come * right now * me”
To you or me, that may look like nonsense. However, Google search will search for that phrase knowing that the asterisks can be any word. More often than not, you’ll find they are lyrics to The Beatles song “Come Together” and that’s what the search will tell you.
6. Find sites that are similar to other sites
This is a unique one that could be used by practically everyone if they knew it existed. Let’s say you have a favorite website. It can be anything. However, that website is getting a little bit boring and you want to find other websites like it. You would use this trick. Below is the syntax.
If you search that above, you won’t find a link to Amazon. Instead, you’ll find links to online stores like Amazon. Sites like Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and others that sell physical items online.
7. Do the math. Use Google search to get you by
As a college student, I can attest that I use this one rather frequently. Google search can actually do math for you. This is a rather complex one to describe because it can be used in so many ways. You can ask it basic questions or some more difficult ones. It is important to note that it won’t solve all math problems, but it will solve a good number of them. Here are a couple of examples of the syntax.
8 * 5 + 5
If you search the first one, it’ll return 45. It will also show a calculator that you can use to find answers to more questions. This is handy if you need to do some quick math but don’t want to do it in your head.
8. Search for multiple words at once
Google search is flexible. It knows you may not find what you want by searching only a single word or phrase. Thus, it lets you search for multiples. By using this trick, you can search for one word or phrase along with a second word or phrase. This can help narrow down your search to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Here is the syntax.
“Best ways to prepare for a job interview” OR “How to prepare for a job interview”
By searching that, you will search both phrases. Remember the quotes tip above? It’s being used here as well. In this instance, these two exact phrases will be searched.
9. Google search has shortcuts
A number of commands can be entered to give you instantaneous results. Like the math example above, Google can immediately give you the information you need that is displayed right at the top of the search results. This can save time and effort so you don’t have to click a bunch of bothersome links. Here are a few examples of some commands you can enter into Google.
- Weather *zip code* – This will show you the weather in the given zip code. You can also use town and city names instead of area codes, but it may not be as accurate if there are multiple area codes in the city.
- What is *celebrity name* Bacon Number – This is a fun little one that will tell you how many connections any given celebrity has to famed actor Kevin Bacon. The popular joke, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, is that no actor is more than 6 connections away from Kevin Bacon. Mark Zuckerberg has a Bacon Number of 3.
- What is the definition of *word* or Define: *word* – This will display the definition of a word.
- Time *place* – This will display the time in whatever place you type in.
- You can check any stock by typing its ticker name into Google. If you search for GOOG, it will check the stock prices for Google.
10. Google has specialized search engines