How to Google Like an Expert

kelseyads / November 5, 2014

Last week, I discovered something: most people don’t know how to Google.

My friends and I were talking about restaurants, movies, and actors. Every ten minutes or so, one of us would try to prove a point or find an address. They’d look at me with admiration and wonder of how I find my information so quickly on Google.

Now, my friends aren’t computer savvy, so, admittedly, they’re not the best Googlers. But the problems they had are problems many still face. So if you know you’re not great at Google or even think you’re good at it, read through these tips. You may be surprised.

Don’t Use Complete Sentences, Use Keywords

Google isn’t an English professor. It’s not going to judge you on your use of proper English. Thus, when you’re Googling, don’t use complete sentences. Use keywords.

Keywords are the most defining terms of your search. For instance, if you’re looking for directions to the Atlanta Zoo, don’t Google, “directions to the Atlanta City Zoo.” That’s a waste of time. In fact, if you’re living in LaGrange or any city close to Atlanta, don’t even use “Atlanta Zoo.” That, too, is a waste of time. Google knows your location, and, thus, knows the closest zoo to you. Just Google, “zoo.”

In the example above, the keyword was “zoo.” If you lived in Memphis, and you were searching for the Atlanta Zoo, your keywords would be “Atlanta Zoo.” Find the most defining terms of your inquiry and punch those into Google.

Know How to Use Punctuation

Google has a lot of useful “punctuation” commands that you’ll want to keep in mind.

  1. Tilde:  [~]  The tilde helps you find synonyms. Put a tilde before a word to include Google’s synonym suggestions.
  2. Dash:   [-]  The dash excludes words from your search. So, if you’re looking for hearts, and you want to exclude “Valentine’s Day,” you’d search “hearts -Valentine’s Day” to exclude all Valentine’s Day hearts.
  3. Quotation Marks:  [“ “] With quotation marks, you can search for the exact term or set of terms. For instance, if hear a song you like, and you want to discover the song’s artist, put the chorus in quotations, such as “White Wedding,” or “Counting Stars.”
  4. Double periods: [. .] Use two periods to express a range between two numbers, such as years, prices, measurements, scores, and dates. “iMac $750..$950,” for instance.

Know How to Use your “:” Commands

Commands with “:” help you with a specific website.

  1. “site: [website]” : With “site:” you can search within a website. For example, type in “site: development” and you will all Kelsey webpages with the keyword “development”.
  2. “link: [website]” : If you have a website, this command shows you everything that links to your site. Just type “link: [your website]” in Google, and you’ll find all websites that hyperlink or quote you.
  3. “related: [website]” : When you use this command, you find all sites related to the site in the brackets.

Don’t waste time. Start Googling like an expert today.


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