Google: search tips
Google is a powerful search engine. But the results list can be endlessly long and at page 3 you still haven't found what you were looking for. These tips and tricks will help you specify a better search question.
- Use unique, specific terms (keywords, not sentences). E.g. search for "headache" instead of "my head hurts"
- Make use of the auto-complete function. Interesting suggestions can help you narrow your search. Start typing "Ghent University" and get suggestions like "Ghent University library", Ghent University hospital", Ghent University logo"
- Use double quotes (“”) to search for an exact phrase. E.g. ""quick glance at Ghent University's research facts and figures"
- Use "OR" (in capitals!) or "|" to search for several terms. E.g. "Jon OR Jonathan tennant"
- Some input is neglected in a search, like interpunction, meaningless words. If you want to include them, use single quotes (' '). E.g. 'de' garage gent
- Use an asterisk (*) to complete a phrase with an unknown word. E.g. "Winston * Churchill“, "a bird in the hand is worth * in the bush"
- Include synonyms to broaden your search question using the tilde (~). E.g. "healthy ~diner" will also return "healthy choices", "healthy eating", "healthy recipes"
- Limit your search to a certain number range (also time span) by insertion of two dots (..). E.g. "Charles 1500..1599"; "samsung phone 200..400€"
- Search in a particular website with "site:". E.g. site:eoswetenschap.eu darwin
- Exclude terms using a dash (-). E.g. "-site:wikipedia.org" to avoid results from wikipedia
- Only search the term in the title: "intitle:" for one word, "allintitle:" for several words. E.g. "intitle:beer"; "allintitle:beer contest". Alternatively, to find words in the text you can use "intext:".
- Find related websites to the one you already know. E.g. "related:eoswetenschap.eu"
- Convert measurements in no time. E.g. "16 lb to kg".
- Search for content by a certain author: "allinpostauthor:". E.g. "allinpostauthor:jon tennant"
- Check out who is linking to a page using "link:". This helps you assess the quality, the validity of a website. E.g.: "link:http://eosmagazine.eu"
- Search in the website your have found: push the buttons "Ctrl" and "f" at the same time and a search box will open
- Try using Google's advanced search: http://www.google.com.au/advanced_search
Want to find out more? Check out these sources:
Official Google Search Tips & Tricks site: Google help Center (accessed 2019/08/25)
Nice infographic by dailyinfographic (accessed 2019/08/25)
Beebom 50 Cool Google Search Tricks to Search Better in 2019 (accessed 2019/08/25)
How to “hack” Google with search operators, Rachel Rofé (accessed 2019/08/25)
Last modified May 24, 2021, 10:53 a.m.