Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikimedia Foundation once said “If it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist.” We stand in an era where no one would deny what Jimmy said. More than 90% of the market share in search engine belongs to Google. With gazillions of data available on the web, how do you get the exact information you’re looking for from the Google search? For example, when you want to look for Jaguar (the animal), the keyword you are likely to enter is “Jaguar.” Wait. Please find below the Google search results for the keyword “Jaguar.”
This conflict between your mind and Google’s search engine can be easily avoided if you master these 10 tips and use it effectively. This will also save your valuable time and optimize your search results.
You get to read a lot of contents online in the form of news articles, blog posts, tutorials, e-books etc. Have you ever found yourself taking a pause in the middle of reading a cover story only because the word or the phrase was so alien to you? In this case, you would either reach out to a pre-installed dictionary software or Google it by randomly choosing a website from the search results page one.
Instead, remember this simple syntax and let Google tell you the definition, origin of the word and synonyms. You can also listen to the pronunciation of the word. Use define: in front of any word to learn the definition of it.
E.g. define: legerdemain
Quotes are very useful if you are looking for something specific on your search results. Imagine this scenario. You remember the title of an article very well, but you vaguely remember the website’s name. Using quotation marks in your search could be really helpful in those cases. Check out the below example where the search for Digital Marketing Trends for India in 2014 without using quotation marks results in a lot of websites suggestions which have these words arranged in any manner.
If you include quotation marks for the same sentence, you get totally different results, the results you desired for. So, if you are looking for a specific phrase and you want only those websites which have the same phrase in the exact order, use quotes to refine your search results.
E.g. “Digital Marketing Trends for India in 2014”
3. File type
Of late, we have been witnessing a lot of religious protests against films leading to censorship by several state governments across India based on the Cinematograph Act. So, you decide to read about it thoroughly to avoid feeling lost in the conversations happening on social media platforms. If you plainly search for “Cinematograph Act” in Google, you’ll get editorials and op-ed columns of popular publications as results.
Instead, use the following syntax to zero in the particular file type you are looking for to read about the topic in-depth. You can search for specific file types by adding the 3-letter abbreviation of the file type. E.g. PDF, PPT, XLS, DOC.
E.g. cinematograph act filetype:pdf
4. Case-sensitive and Punctuation
Please note that Google search is not case-sensitive. If you search for either New Delhi or new delhi, your results will be the same. So, you can stop being conscious to case-sensitive words in Google search.
Search overlooks punctuation too. You can ignore it as well and save time.
This technique is useful for all digital marketers who are researching for competitors in a particular space. It helps to find websites which have similar content. For instance, if you are shopping on Flipkart and want to find out similar e-commerce websites, this tip could help you.
Using the syntax related: followed by the website address will give you websites similar to that in search results.
6. Include or Exclude Words in Search
This trick helps you to include or exclude a specific word in search results. For example, if you want baking recipes with egg as an ingredient, you need to highlight the word Egg by using quotation marks in the search.
To include egg in your baking recipes, the syntax should be baking recipes “egg”
If you are looking for baking recipes without egg, the syntax should be baking recipes -egg
7. Search within a site
Have you ever struggled to find something specific within a website? This syntax could be your solution. For example, if you want to read editorials on The Hindu website and you find that the search box in the website doesn't work. Fret not. Use the syntax site:website to search within a particular website.
E.g. editorials site:thehindu.com
Got an interesting Google search tip? Please share with us in the comments.