The universe is ever-expanding and so is the Internet. When you’re looking for something online, it’s easy to just type a few words into a search engine and hope for the best. But to get more out of your queries (and to find what you need) we’re going to show you how to use symbols to optimize your results.
How to Search Smarter with Google
Using symbols (like quotes, + and -) is a simple way to search more effectively.
For example, typing ‘apples’ into Google will get you about 22 million results. That’s probably a few too many for what you need.
If you’re only interested in green apples, you could use the “+” symbol so that only sites that have both ‘apples’ and ‘green’ are returned.
This will produce a much smaller search result, however there are still 5.9 million sites being displayed.
If you’re searching ‘apple’ then you’re likely to be also receiving results about Apple Computers. To stop this happening, you can remove a word from your searches, using the “-“ symbol.
Now we’ll only see pages without the word ‘computer’, but that still have our original search terms. That takes us down to about 5 million.
To reduce your results even further, you can search for exact phrases using double quotation marks (“ ”). If you’re looking only for granny smith apples, for example, you would type:
apples +green -computers “granny smith”
When you search for words within quotation marks, Google will look for them in their exact order. In our example, this means that we’re finally down to only 220,000 results! Not bad given we started at 22 million.
So next time you search, try using symbols to make your query more effective and to find exactly what you need. There’s plenty more resources on the Internet for advanced searching and other tutorials, so make this your first search!
If you know how to search smarter in Google, write in comments section.
(image source: leighreyes.com)