Google search tips

I’m posting this quick guide for using three common google search operators to help you get better results by limiting how Google will interpret your search criteria. These tips were originally posted by our friends at Gizmo’s blog. If you haven’t tried these suggestions give them a try and see what happens to your results. – Chris

Here’s a follow-up to the previous tip that discussed the undocumented AROUND operator. Although they are documented, there are three other Google operators that are not well known and in this tip, I’ll describe them. Make use of these and you can improve your search results.

The asterisk wildcard (*)

If you include * within a query, the asterisk is treated as a placeholder for any unknown term(s) and Google will try to find the best matches. Sometimes Google makes strange choices but on the whole this can be a useful operator. An example query might be:

    Windows * system restore

That will turn up references to System Restore in all the versions of Windows.

Search exactly as is with (+)

In an effort to add some context to searches, Google includes synonyms in its results. Although this will often improve searches, there can be times when you want to search on exactly what you enter. If you attach a + immediately before a word with no space in between, Google will match the word precisely as you typed it. Putting double quotes around a single word will do the same thing.

Use a hyphen in searches

If you join two words with a hyphen, Google will know that you want searches where the two words are very closely related. There must be no spaces or there may be confusion with the minus operator that is used to exclude terms. For example, both [web site] and [website] would be caught by [web-site]. I use square brackets to indicate a search term but, of course, the brackets would be omitted in an actual search.

More information: Various search operators are described at this Google page.


About SCB Enterprises
System Solutions and Integration

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: