Top 10 Ways to Improve Your Google Search

Computer users are familiar with the power of the Google internet search, but many people don’t realize how to maximize their search effectiveness. Here are a few useful tools and tricks that I learned while attending “Even More Googlicious”, a knowledge session taught by Jim Spellosat MPI’s MeetDifferent conference in February.1) Use the plus and minus signs.Place a “+” or a “-“ immediately before a word to ensure it is included or excluded in every search result. For example, type “restaurant portland Oregon +Thai +Chinese +sushi –burgers” to find asian restaurants in Portland and ensure no burger joints turn up in your search.2) Never search just one word. The more specificity you include in the search box, the better results you will receive.

3) The first shall be first… Words are given importance in the order they appear. Put your most crucial search terms first and they will be given top priority.

4) Use “quotation marks”. Putting a phrase in quotation marks will ensure the words are found in that specific order. For example, “red bicycle” will provide results with only red bicycles, rather than red items and a variety of bicycles.

5) Find synonyms. Placing a “~” immediately before a word will also search synonyms of that word, which will expand your results.

6) Make everything lowercase. Although most searches are not case sensitive, it is safest to use all lowercase text to ensure no results are accidentally excluded from your results.

7) Use the “search within results” link. This is an easy way to narrow your search further.

8) Try the “advanced search” button. This link provides some easy tools for refining your search capabilities.

9) Search number or dollar ranges. By placing two periods between numbers, you can narrow your search to numbers within a range. For example, type “HDTV panasonic $100..$1,000” to find TVs in your price range.

10) Go deeper. Don’t limit yourself to the first page of results. Read through at least 3 – 5 results pages before giving up!

– Bethany Johnson, Associate Producer


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