Google search is the most popular search engine in the world. However, did you know that there are special characters and words that you can include in your search to get even better results? Try following tricks on your next Google search to get more accurate results.
Use quotes (“”) to search for an exact word or phrase
If you put your search terms inside of double quotes, Google renders only the pages with that exact phrase that you put inside the quotes. For example, if you search for “ancient city of Polonnaruwa“, Google search results include only the pages with the phrase ancient city of Polonnaruwa.
Alternatively, if you are a beginner you can use this method to check your writings by searching parts of your sentences on Google. If the Google search yields some results you get some idea about your writing.
Search for wildcards or unknown words (use * within the quotes)
You can use asterisks (*) within the quotes to specify variables or unknown words. Google will find the pages with results that have some words in the pace of asterisks.
This is useful if you are trying to find specific phrases but do not remember the certain words in them. You can replace words that you do not remember with asterisks and Google will find the missing words.
Also, you can improve your writing skills by studying the use of words in sentences by searching them on Google with the combination of asterisks and quotes.
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Use the minus sign (-) to exclude results containing a specific keyword
If you want to exclude results containing specific keywords, you can add minus sign (-) in front of keywords. For example, if you want to search for “what is the internet” and you do not want results with “Wikipedia”, you can search;
what is the internet -Wikipedia
Search within a specific website
If you want to search for something on a specific site, put “site:” in front of the site or domain. for example, you can search;
“ancient city of Polonnaruwa” site:slplaces.com
Limit the time period
With Google search, you can specify the expected time period for your search results. After you run the search, click “tools” (below the search bar) and a new menu will appear below. Select/ define the appropriate time period from the “Any Time” drop-down menu.
Search for file types
If you want to search for a specific filetype, add it to the end of the search with “filetype:” command. For example, if you want to search for “excel for beginners” and you want to have results with PDF; you can search;
“excel for beginners” filetype: PDF
Search for related sites
You can search for sites similar to sites by putting “related:” in front of the domain you already know. For example; you can search for sites similar to “tripadvisor.com” as below;
Translate words and phrases into different languages
You can use Google search to translate words and phrases into different languages. For example, you can translate the word “wildcard” to Sinhala by searching as below;
translate wildcard to Sinhala
Unit and currency conversions
You can use Google search for units and currency conversions. For example; the search term 15 USD to LKR will convert 15 USD into Sri Lankan Rupees. To convert 15 ft into meters, use 15 ft to m.
Search in titles
If you put “intitle:” in front of your search query, Google renders pages with the title which include the word placed right after the “intitle:”.
If you use “allintitle:”, Google renders the pages with all the words put after it.
intitle: WordPress CMS render pages with the term “WordPress” in the titles
allintitle: WordPress CMS render pages with both terms “WordPress” and “CMS” in the titles
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