Skip to main content

How to use search like a pro: 10 tips and tricks for Google and beyond

How to use search like a pro
not found what you are looking for? These tips in a search pro. Photo: Chris ison/PA-

search engines are pretty good to find what you are looking for in these days but sometimes still up briefly. For the opportunities that there are a few little known tricks that come in handy.


Here are some tips for better googling (as it is the most popular search engine), but many of them work on other search engines.

1. Exact phrase


Exact phrase
Exact Search Photo: Samuel Gibbs for The Guardian is


the simplest and most effective way of searching for something specific is the use of quotation marks around a phrase or name to search, it is precisely these words in this exact order.

For example, to search for Joe Bloggs shows results with both Joe and so, but not necessarily placed one after the other. Search for "John Doe" the surface only those who are especially with the name Max Mustermann somewhere on the side.

The exact or explicit phrase search is very useful for exclusive widespread, but less relevant results.

2. Exclude terms


Exclude terms
“Joe Bloggs” -jeans Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

If the Exact Phrase will not get what you need, you can specifically to certain words about the minus icon.

A search for "John Doe" Jeans find results for Max Mustermann, but it closes these results for the Joe Bloggs Jeans Brand.

3. Either OR


Either OR
Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian

OR search for things that could be one thing or another, but you don’t need both terms to exist on a single page. 
Default text searches find results with all the words of the query. By using the OR term you can search for one or another term, not just all the terms. OR searches can be useful for finding things that you’re not sure which term will be used from a known list.

4. Synonym search

Searching using synonyms helps cover all bases. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian
Sometimes it’s useful to search for a less specific term. If you’re not sure which term will be used you can use synonym search.
Searching for plumbing ~university will bring up results for plumbing from colleges as well as universities, for example.

5. Search within a site

Use Google to search a particular site. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian
The search engines of most websites are poor. You can search using Googleinstead by using the site or domain limiter.
Searching with site:theguardian.com followed by a search term, will find results from only theguardian.com. Combining with explicit search terms makes it even more powerful.

6. The power of the asterisk

Asterisks work as wildcards within search either to replace a word or letters. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian
Like the blank tile in Scrabble, the asterisk works as a wild card within searches. It can be used in place of a missing word or part of a word, which is useful for completing phrases, but also when you’re trying to search for a less definite article.
A search for architect* will search for architect, but also architectural, architecture, architected, architecting and any other word which starts with architect.

7. Searching between two values

British prime minister 1920.. 1950 Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian
Searching for something with a qualifier between two ranges is a good way of answering questions. For instance, if you’re looking for the who were the British prime ministers between 1920 and 1950 a search using british prime minister 1920.. 1950 will bring up results with dates ranging between 1920 and 1950.
That’s your search term followed by two full stops and a space.

8. Search for word in the body, title or URL of a page

intitle: search Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian
Sometimes you only want to find text either within the URL, body or title of a page. Using the qualifier inurl: will search just within the url. The qualifierintext: will search within the body, while intitle: will search only within a page title.
For example, intitle:review will bring up all the articles with “review” in the page title.

9. Search for related sites

Related search. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian
The related qualifier is useful for finding similar sites. Searching forrelated:theguardian.com for instance, will bring up the websites of other news organisations that Google deems the most similar to the Guardian.

10. Combine them


Combine the terms and modifiers for powerful searches. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian
All these search tools can be combined to narrow down or expand searches. While some of them may be used only rarely, some such as explicit phrase searches are useful in almost all cases.
As Google and other search engines improve their understanding of the way people naturally type or say search queries, these power tools will likely become less and less useful – at least that’s the goal that search engines are working towards – but that’s certainly not the case at the moment.
source: theguardian

Popular posts from this blog

10 things to know about Android 10

Android 10 is here! With this release, we focused on making your everyday life easier with features powered by on-device machine learning, as well as supporting new technologies like Foldables and 5G. At the same time, with almost 50 changes related to privacy and security, Android 10 gives you greater protection, transparency, and control over your data. This builds on top of our ongoing commitment to provide industry-leading security and privacy protections on Android. We also built new tools that empower people of all abilities, and help you find the right balance with technology.

Here are the 10 things you should know, centered on innovation, security and privacy and digital wellbeing:

Five cool Android 10 features that haven't yet arrived

If you own a Pixel or still have an Essential Phone lying around, you’ve probably already tried out Dark theme, gesture navigation, and all the other new Android 10 features.

top Android 10 features you should know
A dark mode (finally!) Smart Reply for all messaging apps. A better sharing menu. Focus Mode. Quicker access to settings. A standard depth format. Overhauled permissions. Wi-Fi sharing via QR codes.An improved Files appGestures, app drawers play nicelyGoogle Assistant ‘handles’Hearing aids get streaming supportSecurity updates via Play StoreWet, overheating USB warnings

But you might not know there are some other features to explore—features that still need a bit more development time and are currently hidden behind a rather flimsy gate.

Best Tech Deals


Google Pixel 4 leak: astrophotography mode is coming!

You’ll be able to capture ‘even the stars,’ says Google in a leaked marketing video.
The Pixel 4 may allow photography enthusiasts to do something they've never been able to do before with a smartphone camera: astrophotography. A seemingly official marketing video uploaded by Pro Android shows Google's newest smartphone will feature a dedicated mode for taking photos of the night sky. Unfortunately, the ad provides few details about how the new functionality will work other than to promise you'll be able to capture "even the stars." Based on the "hold still" prompt shown in the video, the one detail we can glean is that you won't need a tripod to use to take advantage of the feature.

How to silence Google Assistant responses on your Android phone

You’re sitting in your office and decide to find out when your next appointment is. You pick up your phone and murmur quietly, “OK Google, when’s my next appointment?” And then, loud enough to be heard over the entire room, your Google Assistant announces, “Next up, you have an appointment with your urologist on September 3rd at 9AM.”
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Factory Unlocked Cell Phone with 256GB (U.S. Warranty), Aura Glow (Silver) Note10

iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Design, Camera, Specs and Pricing

Today, Apple has unveiled a new set of phones, including the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. These new devices are powered by a new chip, sport new cameras and are available in a variety of finishes and sizes.

So without any further ado, let’s get into some of the details.