Google is the go-to place for finding out answers to anything. But sometimes it can be hard to find exactly what you want because there’s too much info. How do you prevent your Google search from turning into a search for a needle in a haystack?
Here are 7 tips on how to do better Google searches. I’ve put the searches in brackets [ ].
1) If you put a phrase in quotes, it searches for that exact phrase, instead of the individual words. So
[“apple time capsule”]
returns results with those 3 words next to each other, in that order. Whereas searching for
[apple time capsule]
returns results with those 3 words on the same page but not necessarily next to each other.
2) Here’s how to perform a search on a specific website only.
[“time machine” site:apple.com]
returns results from the Apple website only, where the words time capsule are next to each other. So the format is:
or [searchwords site:sitename.gov]
or [searchwords site:sitename.biz]
3) Use a minus sign to get results that exclude a specific word or words. For example:
returns pages with the word apple but without the word macintosh. Or
[apple -macintosh -computer]
returns results with the word apple but only on pages without the words macintosh and computer.
4) Use OR in capital letters to get Google to find either item. For example:
[“time capsule” OR “time machine”]
will return results with either one or the other on the page, whereas
[“time capsule” “time machine”]
will return only results with both terms on the page.
5) Use the Google Advanced Search page, which makes it easier to do all the above.
6) Try synonyms or similar words. And try the words in a different order. All of these searches will return different results:
[mac help ny]
[mac help nyc]
[mac help manhattan]
[mac help new york]
[new york mac help]
7) Google Images
Sometimes it’s faster to find something by looking at images instead of words. Use the Google Images feature at http://images.google.com/ to search by image. Can be epecially useful for shopping.