It’s amazing to think about how Google has become an essential tool in the contemporary world. In other times, solving some doubts depended on a trip to the library, buying a cookbook or leafing through that map guide. Today, everything is done by Alphabet’s search engine.
But although Google is considered to be omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, it is natural that it ends up letting some users down. Not because of the lack of searched content, but because of small slips (of the user) when doing the search.
Does this mean there is a right or wrong way to look? Not necessarily. Fortunately, the tool’s algorithm has been constantly developed since the late 90’s, which means that the results tend to be more and more assertive.
However, there are some tricks when searching that can make the user’s life easier. A special character there, an expression typed in such a way there… and the result that until then seemed impossible to be found is displayed in a few seconds on the search engine page.
Given that, below are nine good tips to refine your Google searches.
How to optimize your Google searches
- Use quotes for the search term
It is important to note that starting a Google search using a phrase may not bring such assertive results. The search engine can even filter searches with the term, but random results that contain only a few words of the phrase can also appear.
Because of this, it is recommended to use quotation marks in the search. This will ensure that the search engine displays results that contain exactly the searched phrase — which will be highlighted in bold — which can make the search process easier.
- Use “and” or “or” between terms
If the idea is to find two specific terms in the same result, just use “and” (without the quotes) to connect both words. The practice will cause Google to present searches that contain both words in the same result.
For those who are more undecided, use “or” (also without quotes) between search terms will cause the search engine to include results for one term or another. Having doubts when cooking? Put two dish options and find recipes for one or the other ingredient.
- Restrict some specific terms
Equal names can be synonymous with confusion on Google. When searching just for “zoom” in the search engine, prepare to be bombarded with results, whether from the video conferencing app, the e-commerce price comparator or even accessories for a photo camera.
But don’t worry, there is a solution. To avoid unwanted results, just add “-‘word to ignore’” next to the main term. A good example is using the term “zoom -meetings” to avoid surveys based on the calling app.
- Use asterisks to push boundaries
Use the special character “*” (without the quotes) in Google searches can be a good way for users who are more indecisive or who want to further explore Alphabet’s search algorithm. That’s because the “*” works as a kind of wildcard that complements the search term.
A good example of this is the term “how to build * in the unreal engine”. As there are many possibilities when using the Epic Games game engine, Google will include results for game creations, characters, objects and other elements in the EU.
- Search for similar sites
It is quite possible that you have already searched for a site similar to another at some point in your life. The problem is that the results may not always be assertive, as it all depends on whether any webpage or forum has raised this issue before.
But the good news is that Google itself takes care of doing this work. For those who doubt, just type “related:[página do site]” (without the quotes and square brackets) in the search field to be amazed at the results.
- Focus on results from a particular site
Searching for results from just a particular site is also possible — and practical. For that, just play “site: [endereço da página] ‘desired term’” (without quotes and square brackets) to filter the search with only the result of the desired page.
- Look for specific file formats
It is not new that Google offers several formats (news, images, shopping, videos, among others) for the search term. But what many do not know is that it is also possible to search for a certain file format such as PDF or PPT, for example.
For those interested, the combination of terms is this: “filetype:[tipo do arquivo] ‘keyword’” (without the quotes and square brackets, of course).
- Filter results by dates
It is quite true that Google itself already allows searches in custom ranges. However, there is a much simpler way to search for previous or successor searches to a certain period — be it in a simple format like just the year or complete including day and month.
To test the feature, just search for “‘keyword’ before:[data desejada]” or “‘keyword’ after:[data desejada]“. Not least, it is worth stressing that “before” and “after” correspond to “before” and “after”, respectively, in free translation.
The last tip on the list is perhaps one of the best known: the possibility of making calculations directly through Google. No opening Windows calculator software: just type numbers and symbols how “+“, “–“, “*” and “/“ in the search to find the desired results.
Did the above tips help you find what you were looking for? Then tell us your experience in the comments section.
Source: The Next Web