Many of us use Google every day to find information. But did you know Google has tools and techniques to make your searching even more efficient? Take a look at this Google Search Cheat Sheet.
1. Use quotes to search for an exact phrase
This one’s a well-known, simple trick: searching a phrase in quotes will yield only pages with the same words in the same order as what’s in the quotes. It’s one of the most vital search tips, especially useful if you’re trying to find results containing a specific a phrase.
For example: “Computer Repairs in Wigan”
2. Use an asterisk within quotes to specify unknown or variable words
Here’s a lesser known trick: searching a phrase in quotes with an asterisk replacing a word will search all variations of that phrase. It’s helpful if you’re trying to determine a song from its lyrics, but you couldn’t make out the entire phrase (e.g. “The * is long”), or if you’re trying to find all forms of an expression (e.g. “* is thicker than water”).
3. Use the minus sign to eliminate results containing certain words
You’ll want to eliminate results with certain words if you’re trying to search for a term that’s generating a lot of results that aren’t of interest to you. Figure out what terms you’re not interested in (e.g. jaguar -car) and re-run the search.
4. Search websites for keywords
Think of the “site:” function as a Google search that searches only a particular website. If you want to see every time TheITWay.com mentioned Google, use the search “Google site:TheITWay.com”.
5. Use “DEFINE:” to learn the meaning of words—even Slang!
Streamline the dictionary process by using, for example, “DEFINE: Virus.” For words that appear in the dictionary, you’ll be able to see etymology and a graph of its use over time alongside the definition. Google will even sift the web to define slang words or acronyms. Try out “DEFINE: Lol” or “DEFINE: HTH”.
If you need any advice or top tips regarding the use of your computer, give us a call or pop into the shop in Wigan and we will be very happy to help.