For most people, Google is the first stop when searching for information on the Internet. If you are ONLY typing in words without any special operators – search commands, you are missing out on what Google can really do. The tips below assume that you will be using the Google Chrome web browser.
SEARCH AN ENTIRE WEBSITE
You can use Google to search an entire website. For example, let’s say I wanted to search Food Network for any information related to apples.
SEARCH EXAMPLE: site: foodnetwork.com apples
NARROW YOUR SEARCH
You can use quotes to search for an exact phrase. Let’s say I wanted to search for information on how much Cloud Architects make. In the Google search field, I could type in Cloud Architect Salary, but that would give me over 9 million results.
If I typed the same words in quotes that would result in just over 14,000 hits, which is much more manageable.
SEARCH EXAMPLE: “cloud architect salary”
USING THE MINUS SIGN CAN BE A PLUS
You can use the – sign to minimize or possibly totally eliminate what you do not want in your search results. Let’s say I wanted information on jaguars, the animal. If I just typed in jaguar, I would get a mix of cars and animals.
If I typed in jaguar –cars, my results would be very different.
GOOGLE AS A DICTIONARY
Don’t know exactly what Kubernetes is or some other word? Ask Google by using DEFINE. (NOTE: If you use any Google product, you use Kubernetes. It is running in the background.)
SEARCH EXAMPLE: define kubernetes
LOCATION SPECIFIC SEARCH
You can use Google to search for a specific topic relative to a specific place. Let’s say I want to search for BBQ in Atlanta.
SEARCH EXAMPLE: BBQ location:Atlanta
SPECIFIC DOCUMENT TYPES
Use the modifier filetype: if you are looking for results that are of a specific file type. For example, I want to find PowerPoint files related to computer security.
SEARCH EXAMPLE: “computer security” filetype:ppt
FIND RELATED SITES
Let’s say you have a favorite website. It does not matter what it is. You may be getting a bit tired of the site and want to find other sites that are similar. One of my favorite websites is darkreading.com. It is a computer security website. Here is how to find sites similar to darkreading.com
SEARCH EXAMPLE: related:darkreading.com
I found 25 new websites that are similar to darkreading.com
WHAT IS THE WEATHER LIKE?
You can find out the current weather in any area as long as you know the zip code or name of the city.
SEARCH EXAMPLE: weather zip code
SEARCH EXAMPLE: weather name of city
Don’t have a timer handy? Need one?
Yes, you can use Google as a timer. Let’s say I gave students 20 minutes to finish an assignment.
SEARCH EXAMPLE: 20 min timer
I hope you find some of these search tips helpful.