While most of use realise that we can and often do find almost anything via Google, what some of you may not realise is how well you can customise your searches. If you are just generally searching for the latest Kardashian news, you probably won't need this, however if you are searching at work and need to nail something down pretty quickly, these tips will help you do that.
Words In Text
To search for text that you know appears on a page (not the title or web page URL) you can type allintext: followed by the text you would like to search for. To us it you type allintext: followed by the words you want to look for with no space between the semi colon and the first word.
Search Term - allintext:geek queen
Result - I will get a result back that searches for website pages that contain the text geek and queen but not necessarily in that order, and will also show me results where the words are in the page but not necessarily in the same sentence or paragraph.
Search Term - allintext:"geek queen" (to be clear there is a semi colon not a full stop there)
Result - this will show me web pages that have geek queen as a term. IE "geek queen" appears on the page in as a phrase.
Have you ever known that you had previously found a PDF file with the elevation of the next hike you want to do, but of course you just can't find it again? Using Google's filetype filter in your search will ensure the chances of this happening again are greatly reduced.
This is one of my favourite search tools, however you do have to be quite specific in your terms to make the very best use of it. If I type camino elevation filetype:pdf I get LOTS of info on the town called Camino in California. If I type camino frances elevation filetype:pdf my results are much more accurate. So this is one instance where your search term needs to be pretty good. Using an explicit search will lessen results in this case too. As you can imagine if you use a specific phrase, google will only show you results with an exact match AND that is a PDF in this case. So "camino frances elevation" filetype:pdf will greatly lessen the results. So remember - no exact match and try for a fairly accurate search term.
Search Term - camino frances elevation
Result - Returned to me is a reasonably broad set of results showing a lot of info on elevation gain and multiple images, but no PDF files that I can see. While the images are good, what if my reader will only view PDF files? I need the PDF so I need to specify my file type.
Search Term - camino frances elevation filetype:pdf
Result - you can see that I get a list of results that are PDF files. They might not be exactly what I'm looking for but at least they are the file type I'm after.
Google is getting smarter and smarter and you are often able to find what you are looking for relatively easily, however sometimes you just need to filter your results to a location. Google helps with this by offering us the location: tool.
The Location Tool
Lets say you are looking for a restaurant on the Gold Coast that you know has "Fire" in it's name but you can't remember the actual name or where it was. I'm using this example because I actually used this search today. Someone told me about a restaurant that was something "fire" but we had a fire here on the Gold Coast yesterday so when I searched for fire gold coast - guess what? Not a restaurant to be found. When I added the location: phrase to the search I found it first pop.
Search Term - fire gold coast
Result - Returned to me are results that are based around the fire we had yesterday here on the Gold Coast.
Search Term - fire location:gold coast
Result - As you can see from the outcome below, the restaurant I was looking for is in the list at the top of the page. This is because Google has showed me the results based on the location. Where does Google get this location? Locations are used primarily in Google My Business setups so Google is showing me results for businesses that have fire in the name and are in the location I've specified. Cool hey??
Searching in Google happens multiple times a day for most of us, however would you like to know how to refine your searches to include the most appropriate results? Stick with us for our series on Google Search Tips.
Explicit Search Terms
This is by far the easiest and best way to get the most relevant results if your search term consists of more than one word. By using the double quotes around your phrase, you can limit results to be these words in this exact order.
Search Term - small business help
Result - Returned to me is a reasonably broad set of results showing everything from grants to fairwork to marketing.
Search Term - "small business help"
Result - you can see that I get a list of results that have the phrase "small business help" in their title, page or URL. While this is a reasonably generic search term (and that's why I've chosen it) you can see the immediate effect of using Google's explicit search.
Small business owner, web developer and programmer.
Search The Website