If you have ever felt discouraged when trying to find something specific on the web but Google search lists a ton of sites that aren’t relevant, you’re not alone.
Try these handy tips to hone your search terms and help Google locate precisely the information you need:
Sometimes, the most obvious things are the most overlooked, and tabs at the top of search results are no exception. Get closer to your desired results simply by clicking the tab that best describes what you want.
If you need a picture, for example, select Images, and you will see nothing but images. The same holds true for news and more.
Word order is often crucial to finding the right information, but Google search doesn’t naturally take this into account.
For example, you may want to locate information about the movie Simon Birch, but your search turns up results for a guy named Simon talking about birch trees. Simply put quotation marks around your term to search for a precise phrase.
There also may be words or phrases you wish to exclude from your search results. In this case, put a hyphen in front of the term to indicate you don’t want to see information that contains that term.
For example, if you wish to learn about antique dolls but are not interested in Barbie dolls, input antique dolls -Barbie.
Colons to Search Specific Sites
If you need to restrict your search results to a specific site, add a colon followed by the site address after your search terms to let Google show results only from that particular website. When you want to read news about the ebola virus just on CNN, for example, type in ebola virus: cnn.com.
This is also useful to search your company’s website. Simply use the word site, a colon, followed by your company’s website address. This will display all pages Google has indexed from your website.
Related Sites Search
Sometimes, you want to discover similar sites to ones you already enjoy. Let’s say you like the types of articles on Elephant Journal but have already read everything there. You can find new and similar reading material by searching related: elephantjournal.com.