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Six quick tips for efficient Google searches

June 21, 2011

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Remove distractors – if you want to learn about feline jaguars, use a minus sign to exclude other kinds:  -car -football
  3. Be site-specific – if you want results from the Toyota site, add To search higher ed websites in the USA, include
  4. Use descriptive words – if you’re searching for jaguars (the animals) include the descriptive “cat” and leave out the vague “website”
  5. 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.
  6. 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).

Learn more at Google search help and Search Features.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2013 8:12 pm

    Thank you for these quick tips,could u tell me how i can put a google search box in a website?

    Looking forward to hear your reply.


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