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Google’s search engine is used everyday by many people. But a high percentage of those people use it ineffectively!
The geeks at Google have included some great search operators to make the immense task of searching every site in their cache a little easier.
In this tutorial I hope to teach some quick techniques to make searching Google a breeze.
Put the most powerful software ever made to use!
If you have ever found yourself endlessly searching Google with little luck, this power users guide could help!
Most of this information is available on Google’s cheat sheet page, but I will expand with some real world examples and other additions not included on aforementioned page.
Google. A Power User’s Guide
Power User’s Guide Introduction
Google is a very powerful search engine with a wide range of features and operators to help you find what you need (Be it currency conversions before a holiday or the answer to life at 3am after too many drinks!). It’s a shame most people just enter a phrase and hit enter as it’s capable of so much more!
Let’s start from the ground up and use real world examples:
If you just type a word or two into Google and hit enter, your missing out on a lot.
Let’s say we are searching for information on the “large hadron collider”, so we enter that into Google.
To place emphasis on a word just include a + before the word, so “large hadron collider” would become:
To exclude a word from the Search Engine Results Page, use prefix it with a – as shown below:
The wild card symbol (*) is used as a wild card, except when used with numbers (see below).
It can be used to guess a letter, word or phrase and can help broaden a search if the incorrect results are shown.
A good example would be:
Each * represents just one or more words. Google treats the * as a placeholder for a word or more than one word. For example, [ "Google * my life" ] tells Google to find pages containing a phrase that starts with “Google” followed by one or more words, followed by “my life.” Phrases that fit the bill include: “Google changed my life,” “Google runs my life,” and “Google is my life.”
Google’s Wild Card Operator can give good results if used correctly
Just click on the blue text to correct your original search. This is fairly obvious, so swiftly moving on…
To get Google to define a word, simple use something like the following:
Google can act as an effective calculator with very little practice.
The commands are obvious:
- subtraction (45 – 39)
* multiplication (45 * 39)
/ division (45 / 39)
% of percentage of (45% of 39)
^ raise to a power (2^5)
Again we will try a real world example:
The answer to the above should be 295, which Google returned.
The spacing doesn’t seem to be important, but enclosing multiple commands in brackets will stop strange results!
If you know how to use a calculator, you shouldn’t have much problem with Google’s version. So we’ll move on…
Google’s calculator can also convert units such as currency, weight, distance and so on.
A few examples are listed below:
25 $ into £
25 pounds into kilograms
25 lbs into kgs
25 miles into kilometers
25 feet into inches
25 feet into meters
Not all conversions are accurate, so double check all answers where possible!
Google Work Tools
At this point we may as well mention the other usable tools Google provides. Some require a Gmail account, but all seem to work great and could improve productivity greatly!
There a a huge amount of tools provided by Google.
The excerpt below is from a page which describes them and lists the locations etc:
Power searching simple involves using Google to it’s full potential.
A few simple tricks can make sure you get the result you want on page one!
So let’s give a few examples of a google power searches…
We could start with searching for information:
+inurl:gov.uk +hospital filetype:pdf
"ufo report" filetype:pdf
With a little imagination, this is an easy way to get information quickly. I use it for financial / business / UFO reports.
You don’t have to use .pdf as they filetype. .doc or even .txt can work well.
So let’s move on to music:
Simple replace eminem with your favourite artist / band etc. And again, .mp3 isn’t the only extension you could use. But careful as some .wmv and .wma files are copy protected!
Some sites (I.E. adultsites) get indexed by other people. Why not let them do the hard work?
Doing some research on the sites domain structure is needed on sites like these. You would need to check the login’s subdomain or folder location.
Watch your favourite TV shows online:
cartoon tv intitle:stream
There are many streaming services for TV and videos online, but they are frowned on for some reason. If you can watch them on TV for free, why not online?
It’s best to experiment. If you need to use Google for a certain task, look into how it can be done easier! It could save you a lot of time