We are using Google to search for information everyday, we already know it’s powerful and awesome. But you probably don’t realize that few simple and easy search tricks will easily make you search more effective and refine. Google has its own websearch guide to educate people on how to search better. If you don’t bother to go through the wall of text on Google website, here are my choice of 10 simple but useful Google search tips.
10. Enable Google Instant
If you’re not coming from western or developed countries, there is high chance that Google has not rolled out Google Instant in your country. Simply log in to your Google account (seriously, get one google account if you do not have one yet), go to Google search setting page. On setting page, scroll to bottom and tick on “Use Google Instant”
9. Keep searching from anywhere on the page
This trick requires you to be in Google Instant. Actually it makes your search box is always in focus, even after you scrolled or clicked elsewhere on the webpage. You can directly hit on your keyboard for next search term without scrolling up and down, back and forth. It certainly saves you many seconds here and there.
8. Keyboard shortcuts
Another Google Instant only feature. If you’re bored of constantly moving between mouse and keyboard, you can use these keyboard shortcuts. One extra tips there are keyboard shortcuts for facebook too.
Shortcuts for when you’re typing in the search box:
- Enter will search for exactly what you typed in the search box.
- Tab will update the query you’ve typed to match the first prediction.
Shortcuts for after you see results:
- Tab then Enter then down arrow will allow you to select a result. Press Enter to open the first webpage or the down arrow to select the next result
- Right arrow will open a preview of selected search result.
7. Exact Phrase Search with double quotes (“”)
6. Include or exclude a term in search
Adding a + sign will include a term and – sign to exclude a term. Force including or excluding term can be very useful to refine your search. Check out the example below.
Search for most useful apps +iphone if you are looking for iphone apps.
Search for most useful apps -iphone if you are looking for web app, Mac app but not iphone app. Because the term apps usually relate to iphone and this can force the Google to exclude iphone in your results.
5. Search only specific filetype
Using filetype: allows you to search for only specific file type, filetype:pdf for documents, filetype:mp3 for music, filetime:torrent for torrents file. This trick is handy when you’re searching something to download.
4. Search within specific site
3. Compare item with “better than _keyword_”
Next time before you want to purchase something or find better alternatives, try to include “better than“. Eg. Try “better than Skype” will get you to see what other recommends over Skype.
2. Review item with sucks or scam
Again, before purchasing anything offline or online. You should always look for any negative comment of a product on the web. Attaching negative keywords like sucks, scam, bad, worse etc can provide you insight of a product.
1. Use Google to peek hidden/inaccessible content
You’re in a place with restricted connection which blocked out some websites you can’t access. Type cache:slashtasks.com in search box will bring you to a Google Cache version of this website.
Another scenario is that you find a forum post consisting information you need but it requires you to register. Simply hit the cached link on the search result to view the forum post.