Getting the most out of Google Search
I, like many others I’m sure, pride myself on my ability to use Google. If the information is out there on the internet, I’ll find it. The google-fu is strong in this one.
That may not actually be true of course, but I do have a good grasp on using operators in Google Search to turn up specific answers to queries. I was reminded this morning that, while I use all manner of operators in search, there may be people out there who haven’t even heard of them. So I thought I’d highlight some of the ones I use most often.
I’ve put example searches in, so click the links to see the type of search results generated.
Most of the time you’ll only need the most simple of operators. These are a specific set of characters which tell Google what to include, exclude or search around.
Putting “” marks around a word of phrase will ensure that Google includes those words in the results it gives you. So, for example, if you type in the search query below:
You will only get results that contain the phrase white gorilla.
Similarly, but not quite the same, if you put the “” marks around one word the results you get will include that word. So in the example below we’re getting results on anything white or gorilla related but the result has to contain Dublin.
Other useful operators include the minus sign -. this one gives you all results for your search that DON’T include the term.
“white gorilla” -barcelona (compare to the first “” search)
And the * sign, this one allows you to include a wild card in your search. So, for example, if you can’t remember the name of the white gorilla that was in the Barcelona Zoo you could type in the search below to try and work it out.
You can see a full list of the other simple modifiers/operators here.
Other useful Google modifiers
Google has a variety of other modifiers built in that I find extremely useful.
The one I use the most is probably define:. By putting define: in front of any word Google will give you a short definition of that word from the various web sources out there. For some words you’ll also be able to hear how it’s pronounced by clicking on the speaker icon beside the word.
Another very useful one is site:. This restricts your search to a particular site. In this case we will only get search results for gorilla from the rte.ie website.
Or you can also specify that a particular word or phrase must be in the title of the page brought up in the search results. To do this you use intitle:. In this case I’ve specified that I want to see all sites with the particular phrase “white gorilla barcelona” in the title.
Getting information from Google itself
Google is also able to give you specific information about certain topics without having to go into search results. I’ve found these ones particularly handy.
It can do calculations for you, like so…
… and, it can do measurement conversions for you.
To do that you type units in other units. So, for example, to convert pounds to kilos you could put in the search below.
These are just the ones I’ve found most handy, there’s plenty others you can use. Don’t forget as well, your customers may be using specific search modifiers when they are looking for products, this is just one of the things you have to take into account when considering your SEO strategy.
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