7 Google Search Tricks You Can Use to Find What You’re Looking For

About 93% of internet browsing sessions begin with a search engine. Since Google actually owns over 90%, it’s safe to say an overwhelming majority of searches take place on Google’s platform.

The fact is, Google has a massive index that includes nearly everything you could ever imagine. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to access the answers to the questions they have with the search box.

We’ve all been there. You spend 15 minutes typing different combinations of words together hoping to prompt a relevant result, only to be disappointed by the same advertisements and unhelpful links. 

Lucky for you, there are actually google search tricks you can use to eliminate those dead-end sessions. Want in on the Google search hacks? Follow along to discover how to search something on Google and land on your answer on the first try.

1. Exclude Words

One of the biggest culprits for irrelevant search results is multiple meanings for your query. For example, let’s say you were looking for information about how to adjust your scale for a map. If you googled ‘how to adjust your scale’, you’ll probably end up information on recalibrating your bathroom scale. 

To eliminate these results that don’t represent what you are actually looking for, you can use hyphens to let Google know which phrases to leave out. 

To do this, type in your search followed by a hyphen and any word you don’t want to be included. All results with that word will now be taken out of your search results and you’ll be left with more applicable information. 

As per the example above, this may look like: how to adjust your scale -weight. 

Now Google would filter out any results that contain the word ‘weight’. This would redirect the thought pattern from weighing scales and over to the alternative meaning.

2. Search a Website

One of our favorite Google search tips is using colons to search within the desired site. If you are shopping a site or even looking for specific information, but the site doesn’t have a search function, you can actually use Google as your in-between. 

While most people would include the brand’s name and the specific product in the search bar, then hope to find the right page, using this trick will eliminate the extra scrolling. 

All you need to do is key in the product or information you would like to find followed by a colon and the site’s URL (search item:example.com).

3. Search a Number Range

You can use this Google search tip if you are on the hunt for an event that took place between two dates or would like more insight than just one number can offer.

For example, let’s say you are looking for an article about an event that you attended that takes place every year. You know what the event is but you aren’t exactly sure which year you were there.

Instead of hunting through every year’s directory, you can narrow the search by including a range. Simply use two dots either between, before, or after your guestimated dates.

This could look like this:

‘Example festival ..2010’ OR ‘Example festival 2008..2010’.

If you only used one date, Google would disclude any other dates from the search. This allows you to narrow it down, without limiting you to a single number result. 

4. Placeholders

Goole search tips and tricks are designed to make your life easier, and this one does exactly that.

Let’s say you are in search of song lyrics. Perhaps you aren’t quite sure of the title, but you know a few lines here and there. Of course, if you knew all the lyrics, you wouldn’t be searching for them. This tip allows you to find your song by using placeholders for the parts you don’t know. 

All you have to do is add in an asterisk and Google will understand that there could be any word in that place. So if the line is Billy Jean is not my lover, you could Google ‘Billy * is not my *’. This would deliver the same results and get you one step closer to decoding those lyrics.

5. Search Multiple Terms

This tip works to cut out the number of search queries you need to do to land on your desired page. This works especially well for interchangeable terms. 

Let’s use a recipe for example. If you wanted to create a dish with fish but had either salmon or kingfish available, you could eliminate the multiple searches and key both in using this syntax.

Recipe for salmon OR kingfish. 

This way you’ll see all top recipes for both options and have a clearer idea of what’s possible without all the back and forth. 

6. Search Like a Writer 

Keep in mind that most of the content online is written from an outside perspective about your problem. Because of this, it’s unlikely that a business would write an article titled ‘My Back Hurts’. Instead, change around the format and use keywords that a writer may use to get the message across. 

For this example, it may be ‘Back Pain Relief Tips’. This way you’ll land on more helpful articles instead of scrolling through useless pieces about how bloggers hurt their back. 

7. Save Important Links

If you perform similar searches on a regular basis, consider saving the links you need for future use instead of trying to remember the keywords you had success with. 

If you use online programs like Google Drive to do this, you’ll actually have access no matter where you are when you need to recall the link. This is especially helpful for students or individuals who switch work stations but need information carried over. 

This online drive is available for both PC and Apple users, however, you’ll need to download Google Drive for Mac if you don’t already have the application. 

Once you’re all set up, you can eliminate those repetitive searches by copying your links to a working file with a brief description. This file will autosave to the cloud so you can view it from any computer, wherever you need it.

Master the Internet With Google Search Tricks

Now that you know these handy Google search tricks and tips, you can set forth with confidence on your next query. Find more relevant results and waste less time browsing the internet looking for answers. 

Did you find these Google search hacks helpful? Make sure to check out our other articles to learn all the tricks and secrets you need from tech to lifestyle and everything in-between.