Strategy can improve Google searches
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 09:06
Think you're a Google Search power user? You might not know all the ways to get faster, more focused search results. Here are five tips:
• Exclude terms. If you're looking for information on Vikings, the old Norse explorers, you don't want pages on football's Minnesota Vikings. Use a minus sign directly before a keyword to tell Google to exclude pages that contain that word, like this: "Vikings -Minnesota."
• Site search. Limit your search to a single website or a specific group of sites, by using "site:" followed by a Web address or ending. For example, include "site:latimes.com" in your search string and you'll get results only from the Los Angeles Times website. To get results only from U.S. government sites, which have Web addresses ending in .gov, add "site:gov" to your search. Use "site:edu" for colleges or "site:mil" for U.S. military sites.
• Wildcard search. Use the asterisk to substitute for any word in a phrase. This can be handy for identifying a particular fact or finding a missing word in a song lyric. Put phrases in quotes. For instance, "Perris is in (asterisk) county" or "in Penny Lane there is a (asterisk) showing photographs."
• Math and conversions. Enter a math problem into Google Search and it will give you the answer. Use (asterisk) for multiplication and / for division. It will also convert currencies and temperatures. Enter, for example, "$100 in euros" or "72 Fahrenheit in Celsius."
• More shortcuts. Put "define" before any word (for example, "define photobomb"), and Google will give you a definition at the top of the results. Similarly, entering "movies" or "weather" before a ZIP code or a city name will produce a list of films playing nearby or a weather forecast for that area.