Google Like a Pro With These Nifty Search Tips

Posted by Mark Badran on Wed, Feb 12, 2014

As we all know, Google is an extremely powerful search tool. But if you’re still searching for answers the old fashioned way - by just typing in a few keywords - you’re missing out on some advanced features that can be pretty nifty.

Google is packed with little-known advanced features designed to help you pinpoint information and answer the most puzzling questions quickly and easily - without having to sift through irrelevant search results, ads, and other distractions.

Here are a few quick tips to help you Google like a pro.

1. Using Plus or Minus

You can use the plus sign ( + ) to include other words or phrases in your search results. For example you can search ERP+CRM to search for pages/results that contain both phrases. You can also use the operator “and” for the same results – ERP and CRM.

If you’re finding that your search results are too broad or simply not what you’re looking for, try using the minus sign ( - ) to exclude certain words and get more specific with the results. For example, searching for apple -fruit will turn up results relating to Apple the company.

2. Using "Or"

You can give Google a choice between two words or phrases by using the “or” operator. Searching for “Sage 300” or “Sage CRM” will bring up pages that contain either one – or both - of these search terms.

3. Search for a Specific File Type (PDF, HTML, etc)

If you’re looking for a specific type of file, like a PDF document or PowerPoint slides, use the “filetype:” operator to narrow down your results.

Say that you’re looking for brochures related to Sage 300 ERP ... simply search for filetype:pdf Sage 300 ERP to narrow search results to just PDF documents relating to Sage 300

(Tip: this is a great way to find user guides, brochures, and other documents that are likely formatted as a PDF).

4. Search Within a Specific Website

Have you ever come across a website that has a lot of pages and volumes of content? You can use Google to search within a specific site by using the “site:” operator.

For example, search site:www.equationtech.us Sage CRM to find web pages, blog posts, or PDF documents that relate specifically to Sage CRM on our website site. It narrows your search from the entire internet down to just the specific website you are targeting.

5. Define a word

You don’t have to Google a word and then click on various websites or search results just to look up the meaning of a word or phrase. Simply use the “define:” operator instead.  

For example, type in define:technology to bring up the definition with just one click. Right there at the top of the search results, you’ll see a definition of technology, it’s origin as a word, and other interesting facts - all without having to click through to a search result or other website.

6. Unit of Measure or Dollar Conversion

Google makes it easy to convert units of measure quickly. Need to find out how many pounds are in a ton? Simply type in 1 ton = lb to discover that there are 2000 lbs in a ton (you can also type 6 feet in inches and get similar results).  You can then tinker with the conversion tool that pops up - right in the search results - and change the parameters (Grams, Ounces, etc).

This trick also works with currency. If you’re traveling or looking to do business abroad, you can use Google for currency conversions. For example, typing in $10 = GBP into Google turns up the answer of ₤6.03.

And that’s all there is to it! The more you know about Google and some of the little-known advanced features, the more quickly to you can find the answers you need.

What’s YOUR favorite Google trick?

Let us know in the comments below. We’d love to hear how you “Google”

 

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