10 Tips and Tricks to Use Google Search More Effectively

We've all heard of Google and its most renowned product–Google Search. Most of us probably use it daily as well. But are you getting the most out of the powerful search engine?

To make sure you are, here are 10 tips and tricks to help you use Google more effectively.

What Is Google's How Search Works Page?

Before we dive into the tips and tricks, it's worth mentioning that Google has a dedicated page called How Search Works. As you might have deduced from the name, the page tells you everything about how Google Search works. Creators, website owners, and curious members of the public have had access to this page since 2016. In August 2021, Google updated the resource.

In an exclusive statement, Google Search executive Danny Sullivan says the page exists to help people “learn how to get the most out of Google Search.”

Speaking about the August update, Sullivan explained, “There are a lot of questions that people ask about Search–like how autocomplete works, or how we keep their information private and secure. We’ve updated the site, so it’s a lot easier to find the answers to these questions and to learn all about our approach to designing Search.”

On the page, you'll find various in-depth blog posts explaining how different elements of Google Search operate. You'll even find a breakdown of Google Search's features alongside an hour-long video explanation.

Tips and Tricks to Use Google Search More Effectively

As promised, here are 10 tips and tricks that will help you use Google Search more effectively. Some of them may seem obvious, but others, perhaps not so much. There's definitely a lot to learn about Google Search!

1. Discover How Search Works

The first step to becoming an expert on Google Search is learning how it works. Google's How Search Works page is the perfect way to do this.

The in-depth blog posts on the page can teach you about specific areas of interest, and the video is perfect for a more general overview.

Google Search can find an exact match for your search terms if you use additional parameters. You can incorporate these parameters by adding a word or phrase inside double quotation marks.

For example, if you want your search to return pages that discuss the best jogging shoes rather than the best running shoes, add “jogging” in quotes. Quotes tell Google to show you pages that only include the word “jogging.”

3. Use the Advanced Search Option

On Google Search, you'll find an Advanced Search option, which gives you more control over your queries. To use it, click the gear icon on the right side of the search results page. Then click Advanced search.

Using Advanced Search, you can easily find webpages that are only available in a specific language, sites that originate from a particular domain, or documents written in the past month or year. Long story short, Advanced Search can make your life a lot easier.

4. Describe What You're Looking For

One of the ways to connect your searches with results on the web is by matching terms. For example, if you search for running shoes, Google will show you pages that have the words running and shoes on them.

Related: Google's Search Engine Results Page: 11 Features You Should Know About

So, if you can’t remember what something is called, try to describe it with the words you’d use to explain it to a friend. Some sites might use similar language as your description, and Google Search will match you to those pages.

5. Get Specific With Your Query

When you're searching for something on Google, specifics can often help. That's why you should remember to focus on including information that’s specific to your search.

For example, if you saw a flag you didn’t recognize, you would search “What flag has a red background with a white cross?” rather than “What’s the red and white flag?” The extra details mean you're more likely to find an accurate result.

6. Try Searching in Different Ways

If you can't find what you're looking for at first, try different terms. Using synonymous search words means you’ll likely get a set of broader results that might include what you’re looking for. However, while it's good to be specific, you want to avoid going over the top!

For example, if you searched for “flag with a blue background and a yellow cross” but didn’t find matches, try searching for “flags with yellow crosses.”

7. Eliminate Unwanted Search Results

Occasionally, you may not want results to include certain words, especially when they may be offensive or upsetting. That's where Google's minus symbol comes in.

By searching with the minus symbol (-), you're telling Google to find results that exclude the words preceded by a minus symbol. For example, if you know the flag you’re after isn’t the flag of the United Kingdom, you'd search “flag with white cross -United Kingdom.”

8. Try Exploring Visual Search Results

Often, visual examples can demonstrate what you're searching for much more easily. You can click on the Images or Videos tab to find visual results for your search query. You can also search using a picture by dragging an image from your desktop into Google Search.

Image Gallery (2 Images)

Additionally, with Google Lens, you can use your phone camera to identify objects in the real world. Open the Google app on Android or iOS and tap the Lens camera icon in the search bar to get started.

9. Check the Credibility of Your Source

You can use a built-in Google Search tool to learn more about unfamiliar sites. When viewing a search result, you'll see three vertical dots next to the heading. Clicking on these dots reveals a panel called About this result.

This panel gives you contextual details as to why Google shows a specific site. That way, you can make more informed decisions about which sites you visit. Of course, a good old-fashioned Google search can also supply the same information.

10. Control Your Search History

Anyone that regularly uses Google probably wants to make sure they're controlling their search history. Well, the Google app has a dedicated button to delete the last 15 minutes of saved history. The Web & App Activity panel also gives you extra insight into the pages you visit and your searches.

In the panel, you can choose to have Google automatically delete your search history. You can also manually see your saved search history and delete items from the list.

While most of us use Google Search every day, it's often easy to overlook how powerful the tool is. Hopefully, by using some of these tips, you'll be able to get the most out of Google Search.

Author: Connor Jewiss

Source: Connor Jewiss.” 10 Tips and Tricks to Use Google Search More Effectively”. Retrieved From https://www.makeuseof.com/tips-tricks-to-use-google-search-effectively/

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