Get the most from Google search!

By Jules Mackley 30th January 2022
Graphic of person searching google
Only a few weeks ago across social media, everyone was talking about typing ‘askew’ into Google.

The joke was that the search page would tilt and be 'askew'.

However, did you know there are some really common tips and tricks to use on Google that could save you time and have you googling like a pro in no time?!

Google search usually ignores punctuation that isn't part of the search operator however, you can use certain symbols to refine your results and make them more accurate.

Use quotation marks (“ “) to look for an exact word or phrase.

This can be useful if you are looking for an exact match. Google will only search and find results that include all those words in that order.

Example - Searching "lego technic stockists" will force Google to search for shops that sell supercar Lego as a priority.

Use an asterisk (*) to search for unknown words.

The * in a Google search is like a wildcard. Google will automatically match any phrase or word that’s relevant. Great if you are searching for an expression or song lyrics.

Example - Searching lego * cars will provide you with a search of the variety of cars available from Technic, creator or Duplo.

The hyphen/minus (-) symbol allows you to exclude words from a search.

This is great if there are words/websites associated with your search that you want Google to ignore.

Example - Searching lego sets -technic will provide you with a search of Lego, not including the word Technic

Use site: to search a specific website

You can search specific keywords or phrases from one domain by using keywords. There are a number of reasons why you might want to use a site search; competitor analysis, indexing errors, duplicate content or searching for keywords.

Example - Searching instructions Porsche 911 RSR searching the Lego website for the instructions for a Porsche 911 RSR.

Look up words within a URL by using inurl:

If you are looking for something specific a great way to narrow down your search is to search for phrases or terms in URLs.

Example - Searching inurl:instructions lego 42096 Google will return multiple websites with the instruction book you require if it appears in the URL of the webpage.

Use intitle: to search for words within a title

Using intitle: will find specific words that appear in the title of a page.

Example - Searching intitle: lego 42096 Google will return all pages linked to the Lego set 42096

Not sure what keywords to search use OR.

Using the word OR between search words will bring back searches including either word. You can search for multiple keywords and separate them with OR.

Example - Searching lego technic OR porsche Google will provide searches with the word Technic or Porsche in them.

Use AND between search words for your search to including both words.

If you are searching for a specific topic using AND will ensure your results will include both words.

Example - Searching lego AND porsche will provide search results that include both the words Lego and Porsche. 

Using “vs” to compare 2 things

If you want to see the difference between two things Google can provide you with a comparison chart by using vs in quotation marks.

Example - Searching lego "VS" playmobil Google will provide you with a comparison of the 2.

Use filetype: to search for files

Whether you are looking for documents, spreadsheets, presentations or Adobe files you can use filetype: to focus your search and find the exact file type you want.

Example - Searching filetype:PDF lego porsche Google will provide a search of only PDF's containing the words Lego Porsche.

However, if you can't remember the different shortcuts you can always use the Google Advanced Search page in your browser. Although Google has removed the advanced search link from the home page you can still access it by clicking on the gear (settings) in the upper right corner next to the sign-in and it will appear in the drop down.

If you want to try some more things on Google

Try searching do a barrel roll, Anagram, friends glossary or for a little nostalgia Google in 1998.