Six quick tips for efficient Google searches
Many of you are already proficient at finding what you want in a Google search, but I find that many people don’t know all of these techniques.
- Use quotes – if you want to find two words together, put them in quotes. “Greek drama” with quotes yields one eighth as many hits as without.
- Remove distractors – if you want to learn about feline jaguars, use a minus sign to exclude other kinds: -car -football
- Be site-specific – if you want results from the Toyota site, add site:toyota.com. To search higher ed websites in the USA, include site:.edu
- Use descriptive words – if you’re searching for jaguars (the animals) include the descriptive “cat” and leave out the vague “website”
- Eliminate synonyms – if you need a specific word put a plus sign in front. Including +jelly says you don’t want pages that only talk about jam.
- Use few words – each additional word limits the results. If you limit too much, you might miss useful information.
Using the Advanced Search screen can help you learn how to build a search that incorporates these techniques and others. Enter your items to build a search phrase in the box at the top (see image at left).