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It’s safe to say that almost everyone who uses the Internet is familiar with Google Search, and probably uses it on a regular basis. While this is one of the nets most valuable services, there are a number of functions that you can employ to enhance your search results, or even make it easier to find what you are looking for.
Want to improve the quality of your search? Here’s five useful, but hardly used, ways:
Search for synonyms
Different regions use different words for the same ideas e.g., professional, expert, and guru, are often all used to describe the same desired result. You can enhance your results by adding a tilde (~) before the term that has multiple variations. e.g.,’ IT ~expert’ will tell Google to look for IT + expert, along with synonyms of the word expert, to give you wider results.
Find articles with lists
Many blog articles incorporate lists, and this can help you find the right content if you ‘tell’ Google to search for content in lists. To search for content with numbered lists enter two numbers separated by two periods e.g., 1..5. If you are looking for top five to ten PCs you can enter 5..10 top PCs.
Search for similar, not related
If you find a website or an article in a search, and would like to link to similar sites or content, instead of entering ‘related to:URL or Article’ in the search bar, hit the green triangle below in the second line of each search result and select Similar. This will tell Google to search for sites or content similar to this specific, individual result.
Use ‘OR’ not ‘or’
Did you know that there is a difference between OR and or? Well, according to Google there is. When you enter a search with OR, you’re actually telling Google to look for pages that contain the keywords either to the left or right of the OR statement. On the other hand, typing ‘or’ will search for pages that contain the whole statement.
You can make the search even more powerful by putting quotation marks around the different searches. This will tell Google to look for keywords that match those within the marks and also look for pages in another search at the same time, e.g., “IT provider in London” OR “IT Partner in London” will tell Google to look for pages with either of those multi-word search terms.
Use + or – correctly
Sometimes you may want to place or remove emphasis from a keyword in a search. You can do this by using plus (+) or minus (-) before the relevant keyword. Adding a +WORD will instruct Google to include results relevant to that word. ie., security +computers will return results that contain the words Security and Computer close to each other. If you would like to exclude something, say news related to a search topic, adding a minus will return results without that word. i.e., security -news.
There are many other tips and tricks you can use to get better results from Google. What are your favorites? Let us know, and if you would like to learn more about Google Search, please contact us today.
Published on 25th June 2013 by Jeanne DeWitt.