Saturday, July 9, 2011

Useful Keywords to Improve Your Google Search Experience

Google supports several advanced operators, which are query words that have special meaning to Google. Typically these operators modify the search in some way, or even tell Google to do a totally different type of search. Below discussed are various Google’s special keywords and I shall be explaining each command in brief :

1. filetype:

This “filetype:” syntax restricts Google search for files on internet with particular extensions (i.e. doc, pdf, ppt etc). For example, typing java books filetype:pdf into the search box will look for the files with keyword "java books" having extension “.pdf”. Note that there should not be any space between "filetype:" and the extension.

2. site:

The "site:" syntax restricts Google to query for certain keywords in a particular site or domain. For example: gadgets will look for the keyword “gadgets” in those pages present in all the links of the domain “”.

3. link:

The query "link:" will list webpages that have links to the specified webpage. For instance, will list webpages that have links pointing to Technology Made Easy's homepage.


4. related:

The query "related:" will list web pages that are "similar" to a specified webpage. For instance, will list web pages that are similar to the lifehacker website.

NOTE :  For the keyword "site", "link" and "related", there should not be any space between “:” and the web page URL :

Ineffective: site:

Other advanced search tools :

1. Phrase search ("")

By putting double quotes around a set of words, you are telling Google to consider the exact words in that exact order without any change. For example, a search for "Alexander Bell" (with quotes) will tell Google to treat Alexander Bell as a single entity and not two different words. Hence only those results would be shown by Google which have Alexander Bell together and in the same order. Also note that search results consisting only Alexander or only Bell would be ignored.

2. Terms you want to exclude (-)

Attaching a minus sign immediately before a word indicates that you do not want pages that contain this word to appear in your results. The minus sign should appear immediately before the word and should be preceded with a space. For example, in the query anti-virus software, the minus sign is used as a hyphen and will not be interpreted as an exclusion symbol; whereas the query "anti-virus -software" will search for the words 'anti-virus' but exclude references to software. You can exclude as many words as you want by using the - sign in front of all of them, for example "jaguar -cars -football -os". The - sign can be used to exclude more than just words. For example, place a hyphen before the 'site:' operator (without a space) to exclude a specific site from your search results.

3. Search exactly as is (Verbatim tool)

Google ignores common words and characters such as where, the, how, and other digits and letters that slow down your search without improving the results. If a common word is essential to getting the results you want, you can make sure Google pay attention to it by using the "Verbatim" tool.
  1. Click "More search tools" on the left side of the search results page.
  2. Click "Verbatim".
  3. Type your search terms into the search box and type "Enter"

4. Fill in the blanks (*)

The *, or wildcard, is a little-known feature that can be very powerful. If you include * within a query, it tells Google to try to treat the star as a placeholder for any unknown term(s) and then find the best matches. For example, the search Google * will give you results about many of Google's products. The query barack obama voted * on the * bill will give you stories about different votes on different bills. Note that the * operator works only on whole words, not on part of words.

5. The OR operator

Google's default behavior is to consider all the words in a search. If you want to specifically allow either one of several words, you can use the OR operator (note that you have to type 'OR' in ALL CAPS). For example, Delhi Marathon 2010 OR 2010 will give you results about either one of these years, whereas San Francisco Giants 2004 2005 will show pages that include both years on the same page. (The AND operator, by the way, is the default, so it is not needed.)

6. Search for a number range

Separate numbers by two dots (with no spaces) to obtain results that contain numbers in a given range of things like dates, prices, and measurements. For example, mobile $200..$1000.

Google as a tool :

1. Google as Dictionary

To see a definition for a word or phrase, simply type the word “define” then a space, then the word(s) you want defined. To see a list of different definitions from various online sources, you can type “define:” followed by a word or phrase. Note that the results will define the entire phrase.

Example : define philosophy

2. Google for Synonym Search

If you want to search not only for your search term but also for its synonyms, place the tilde sign (~) immediately in front of your search term.

Example: ~misogynist

3. Google as Weather Reporter

To see the weather for many worldwide cities, type “weather” followed by the city and state or city and country.

4. Google as Calculator

To use Google’s built-in calculator function, simply enter the calculation you’d like done into the search box.


5. Google as Unit Converter

You can use Google to convert between many different units of measurement of height, weight, and volume among many others. Just enter your desired conversion into the search box and Google will do the rest.

Syntax : [unit 1] in [unit 2]

Example: 10.5 cm in inches

6. Google as World Clock

To see what time it is anywhere in the world, type "time" followed by a space and the city or country.

Example : time london

Also check the following video created by a team at Google that puts all the useful stuff you can do on, plus some related search tips and tricks, all in one place :

1 comment:

  1. Another tip:
    Search for "showtimes city_name" to find movie showtimes in the city's theaters.
    (replace city_name with your city, and search without quotes)
    Or, go to to do the same


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