Google has become such an integral part of all our lives that we now use the verb “google” to refer to the action of using the search engine. By simply typing a few keywords, you can find anything from the closest grocery store to the latest breaking news.

But sometimes, the magic of Google fails to give us the results we are searching for. You try several different word combinations and go deep into the search results but still can’t find what you need.

But there may be a solution to this! Did you know that Google provides different options to refine your search to find exactly what you want from thousands of matches?

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Use quotation marks to match exact phrases

"search query"

You can use quotation marks around a word or a phrase you enter into the search box to get a list of results that contain the exact search term.

If you search ‘When to use Node.js’ (sans quotation marks), Google returns a set of results that contains all four or less of these words in any order.
Syndi1.jpgRegular search.

But if you use quotation marks and search for “When to use Node.js” instead, Google gives priority to the results that contain this phrase exactly. 

Syndi2

Use AND/OR operators

When typing an inquiry with two or more words into the search bar, the results may only contain a few of the listed words.

javescript

keyword1 and keyword2

If you want to search for pages that contain both of these terms, you can use the AND operator in between the two words to specify that both of them should be in search results.

javascript1

keyword1 or keyword2

You can also use the OR operator to specify when you want the results to contain only one of the keywords. 

Syndi5

Searching with OR operator.

Exclude certain terms using minus sign

keyword1 -ignore

If you want to exclude web pages that contain a certain phrase from your search results, use the minus sign to indicate this in the search term.

When you search the word, ‘Ruby’, on Google, you get results related to Ruby programming language and Ruby gemstone.

Syndi6 Dual meaning words.

To exclude any results relating to the Ruby gemstone, you can search for ‘Ruby -gemstone’. Now, we get a list of results that are solely about the programming language.

Syndi7 Search excluding certain words.

Use wildcards in your search term

phrase * phrase

This trick is quite useful when looking for information and you are unsure of what exactly you are looking for. This trick is also useful for when you want to see how far down the Google algorithm rabbit hole you can go.

When you use an asterisk (*) in the search terms, this acts as a placeholder that Google automatically fills before delivering the results.

Let’s try the search term, ‘how to do * in Python‘, and see what Google decides to show us.
As you can see, the first three search results focus on three different things we can do with Python: doing math, commenting, and learning Python.

Syndi7Search excluding certain words.

Use wildcards in your search term

phrase * phrase

This trick is quite useful when looking for information and you are unsure of what exactly you are looking for. This trick is also useful for when you want to see how far down the Google algorithm rabbit hole you can go.

When you use an asterisk (*) in the search terms, this acts as a placeholder that Google automatically fills before delivering the results.

Let’s try the search term, ‘how to do * in Python‘, and see what Google decides to show us.
As you can see, the first three search results focus on three different things we can do with Python: doing math, commenting, and learning Python.

Syndi8

It’s an interesting way to allow Google to lead the way when you are unsure of the path you should take. 

Find websites similar to another website

This is a method that will become a constant in your googling habits as soon as you start using it!

How many times have you wondered if there was a way to discover another website similar to one of your favorite? If your answer is at least more than one, then you will love this technique.

To search for websites similar to another website, simply use a search syntax like this:

related:[website_url]

For example, let’s search for websites that are similar to GitHub with this syntax.

Syndi9

We can see Bitbucket, Git, Stack Overflow, and SourceForge show up on the results page. We receive these results because they serve a similar purpose to GitHub: repository management and developer communities.

Search for a specific webpage using Google

keyword1 site:[website_url]

Did you know that you can search for a specific webpage using Google? With this feature, you can find articles, blog posts, and pages published on a particular site. This is particularly useful when the site doesn’t have an in-built search feature available.

Let’s search the Live Code Stream website using the keyword, machine learning.

Syndi10

Find content in a specific file type

keyword1 filetype:[file type]

Let’s say you want to find PDFs or PowerPoint slides discussing a specific topic, Google will allow you to search for content only in this file type.

Let’s search for PowerPoint slides on the topic of algorithms using this method.

Syndi11

Use ‘before’ and ‘after’ operators

When you are searching for content that was published before a specific date, you should use the ‘before’ operator. You can provide a specific year or a complete date (in yyyy-mm-dd format) for this search term. 

keyword1 before:[date]

Syndi12

keyword1 after:[date]

Similarly, if you want to search for pages published after a certain date, use the ‘after’ operator with a specific year or date.

Syndi13

Use Google as a calculator

[mathematical operation]

Did you know that you can use Google’s search box as a calculator? When you are too lazy to grab your calculator (or the calculator app) to do some simple math operations, quickly turn to Google for support.

Syndi14

Using google as a simple calculator.

Syndi15

Gradually increase the words in your search term

Google recommends that you start a search with only the basic terms. For example, if you are trying to find courses for learning Javascript, start with the most basic phrase and gradually increase the number of words in your search term until you find what you are looking for.

  • Javascript courses
  • Javascript courses for beginners
  • Javascript courses for beginners udemy

Following this strategy has a few benefits. Using a broader search term first gives you the chance to get a bigger picture of the topic and the different avenues available. It also ensures that you don’t miss any important information by going straight to a refined, focused search term. As you add more words to the search term, you will see results that are more targeted to your specific request.

Use website language in your search terms

When you put search terms into the Google search box, try to use the kind of language websites use. Instead of using the search term, ‘my image doesn’t center on web page’, think of the kind of language websites use and search for centering images with CSS.

The trick here is not to search for the terms that you would use, but a professional website would. Especially, when you are going deep into a topic, using website language in the search term will give you better results.

Summary

Googling is technique developers have to master to efficiently find the information they want. So, we have provided you with a number of tips and tricks on how to refine your Google search skills. When you start using these tips correctly, you can reduce the amount of time you spend on Google and find the right answers to your queries.

Next time you start typing something into the Google search box, think of these tips and tricks and see which ones you can use without wasting any more time.

[Source: This article was published in thenextweb.com By Juan Cruz Martinez - Uploaded by the Association Member: Rene Meyer] 
Published in Search Techniques

Boolean search query makes it simple to find people, tweets, or articles that mention any name, keyword, company, hashtag, etc. We’ve compiled this guide to help you make the most of your search.

Selecting a term

Start searching for tweets, articles, titles, and bios with some suggested searches:

  • Companies or Topics (e.g. iPhoneMicrosoft)
  • Phrases (e.g. "cloud computing") — use quotes to keep the terms together
  • Twitter handles (e.g. @username) — returns those who have mentioned or replied to given user
  • Names (e.g. "David Pogue")
  • Hashtags (e.g. #sxsw#london2012)
  • Bio details (e.g. veganOlympicsfather)

Advanced terms

Advanced Boolean Search operators:

AND

Find results that mention multiple specified terms, use AND or +. This is the default behavior of our search when no operators are used. For example, ensure each result contains both Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg by searching Musk AND Zuckerberg or Musk + Zuckerberg.

OR

Use the operators OR or , to broaden your search when you’d like either of multiple terms to appear in results. For example, results will contain either cake or cookie by searching cake OR cookie or cake,cookie

NOT

Use NOT or - to subtract results from your search. For example, searching Disney will yield results about the Walt Disney Company as well as Walt Disney World Resort. To exclude mentions of Disney World, search for Disney -World or Disney NOT World.

Phrases

When using one of these operators with a phrase, enclose it in quotation marks. For example, you can find results about smartphones excluding Apple’s iPhone 4S by searching smartphone -"iPhone 4s".

Exact match

Searches automatically have common suffixes like -s, -ed, -ing added and removed to increase the number of results returned (even when terms are enclosed in quotation marks). To avoid having suffixes added or removed to your terms, add strict: and enclose your term in quotes. For example, find results with iPhone 4S by searching strict:"iPhone 4s".

Case matching or punctuation

If you’re searching for a brand name or keyword that relies on specific punctuation marks or capitalization, you can find results that match your exact query by adding matchcase: before the keyword, you’re searching for, like matchcase:E*TRADE .

Combining operators

Use parentheses to separate multiple boolean phrases. For example, to find people talking about having fun in Disney World or Disneyland, search for ("disney world" OR disneyland) AND fun.

Asterisk

An asterisk can be used to search for any variation of a root word truncated by the asterisk. For example, searching for admin* will return results for administratoradministrationadministeradministered, etc.

Near

near operator is an AND operator where you can control the distance between the words. You can vary the distance the near operation uses by adding a forward slash and number (between 0-99) such as strawberries NEAR/10 "whipped cream", which means the strawberries must exist within 10 words of “whipped cream”.

[Source: This article was published in adigitalboom.com By Ahmed Maher - Uploaded by the Association Member: Juan Kyser] 
Published in Search Techniques

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