How to Search on Google Effectively

How to Search on Google Effectively

How to Search on Google Effectively

Google is the most popular search engine in the world. According to Google Statistics, they are processing over 3.5 billion searches per day. People around the globe are searching for information. However, sometimes, it is difficult to find the best keyword to find the best information that you need.

To give you the best Google search result, we have identified the best ten tips on How you can Search effectively on Google. These tips will surely lessen the irrelevant information in the Google search result.

CEO of Google Sundar Pichai calls for federal tech regulation, investments in cybersecurity

Google recommends Password Best Practices – 94% of Singaporeans still have crappy Password Practices

How to Search on Google Effectively

Fine-Tune Your Query with More Keywords

The more keywords you enter, the better the match of Google search results. You should include keywords that best describe what you are looking for.

The common problems made by people are just by using a few keywords. These keywords do not provide enough information that describes what they are searching for.

You’ll get better, more targeted results by using multiple keywords. The more words you use, the better idea Google has of what you’re looking for. 

Make sure to provide Google search the most precise keywords possible to give you the best information from their index of web documents.

Search for Either One Word or Another

You might have realized this instinctively, but it’s important to know that Google automatically assumes the word “and” between all the words in your query. That is if you enter two words, Google assumes you’re looking for pages that include both those words—word one and word two. It doesn’t return pages that include only one of the words.

For example, if you’re searching for pages about both dogs and cats, you enter the standard query dogs cats (no “and” required). But if you want to search for pages that include information about either dogs or cats (but not necessarily dogs and cats together), use the query dogs OR cats. And when you use the OR operator, be sure to type it in all uppercase, or Google will ignore it as a stop word, which we’ll discuss next.

Include Stop Words

Remember when I said you could improve the accuracy of a search by including more keywords? That advice doesn’t include small common words, such as “and,” “the,” “where,” “how,” “what,” and “or” (in all lowercase). These are called stop words, and Google automatically ignores them when you include them in a query. (For that matter, Google also ignores single digits and single letters, such as the letter “a”.)

If it’s important to include a particular stop word in a query, you can override the stop word exclusion by telling Google that it must include specific words. You do this with the + operator, in front of the otherwise excluded word. For example, to include the word “how” in your query, you’d enter +how. Be sure to include a space before the + sign, but not after it.

Exclude Irrelevant Words – Use a hyphen

Just as you sometimes want to search for pages that include a stop word that Google normally ignores, you may also want to refine your results by excluding all pages that include a specific word. This lets you skip those pages that include a misleading or irrelevant word that might otherwise be common to your search.

You can use the – operator to exclude pages that include words related to those meanings of your main keyword that are irrelevant to your search. In the case of the word “bass,” if you’re only interested in pages about bass singers, you would enter a query that looks like this: bass -fish -guitar -beer -shoes. You’ll get much more focused results than a bass-only search.

Search for Similar Words

Sometimes you’re not completely sure you’re thinking of the right word to describe what you’re looking for. Maybe somebody else describes this item using different words than you would; maybe there are lots of different ways to describe the item.

For example, to search for words that are like the word “elderly,” enter the query ~elderly. This finds pages that include not just the word “elderly,” but also the words “senior,” “aged,” “nursing homes,” and so on. This really expands your search results, giving you a lot more options to choose from.

Search for Similar Pages

Along the same lines, sometimes you find a web page that includes some of the information you’re looking for but not all of it. The best way to proceed in this instance is to look for other web pages similar to this one, which you can do with Google’s related: operator.

The related: operator displays web pages that are in some way similar to the specified page. For example, if you’ve found good information about wildlife on the National Geographic website, you can find similar sites by entering the query related:

Search for an Exact Phrase – Use quotes

Sometimes what you’re searching for isn’t described by list keywords; instead, it’s an exact phrase. And when you’re searching for an exact phrase, you don’t get the best results simply by entering all the words in the phrase as your query. Google might return results including the phrase, but it will also return results that include all those words—but not necessarily in that exact order.

So when you want to search for an exact phrase, you need to enclose the phrase in quotation marks. This tells Google to search for the precise keywords in the prescribed order.

For example, if you’re searching for anything related to the movie Star Wars, you could enter star wars as your query. You’d probably get acceptable results, but know that these results will include all pages that include both the words “star” and “wars,” even if they don’t appear adjacent to one another. In other words, your results will include a lot of pages that aren’t about the movie.ex

Use Google’s Advanced Search Page

You can access the Advanced Search page by clicking the Advanced Search link on Google’s home page. This page contains a number of options you can use to fine-tune your searches, without having to learn all those advanced operators. All you have to do is make the appropriate selections on the page, and Google does all the fine-tuning for you.

Here’s what you’ll find on the Advanced Search page:

  • Look for results with all these words:Google’s default search mode
  • Find results with this exact wording or phrase:Searches for the exact phrase entered
  • Find results with one or more of these words:Searches for either one word or another (identical to the OR operator)
  • Don’t show pages that contain unwanted words:Excludes words from search results (identical to the – operator)
  • Results per page: Selects how many listings are displayed on the search results page
  • Language: Searches for pages written in a specific language
  • File type: Limits the search to specific file types of files
  • Search within the specific website or domain: Restricts the search to a given site only

Search Within Your Search Results

You use the search within results feature to fine-tune your search results. Make sure to create a new query that is more specific than your original query, and you should find what you’re looking for.

All you have to do is scroll to the bottom of the first search results page and click the Search Within Results link. This displays a new page with a new search box; enter a new query into the search box and click the Search Within Results button. Google now searches within the original search results to generate a smaller, more focused list of matching pages.

Search Google’s Other Sites

What types of specific searches does Google offer? Here’s a list of some of the most useful:

How to Search on Google Effectively

Use the tabs

The first tip is to use the tabs in Google search. On the top of every search are a number of tabs. Usually, you’ll see Web, Image, News, and More. Using these tabs, you can help define what kind of search you need to do.

If you need images, use the Image tab. If you are looking for a recent news article, use the News tab.

Use a Colon to Search Specific Sites

There may be an instance where you need to Google search for articles or content on a certain website. The syntax is very simple and we’ll show you below.

  • Oscar Oganiza

This will search for all content about Oscar Oganiza, but only on 

Use the asterisk wildcard

The asterisk wildcard is one of the most useful ones on the list. Here’s how it works.

When you use an asterisk in a search term on Google search, it will leave a placeholder that may be automatically filled by the search engine later. This is a brilliant way to find song lyrics if you don’t know all the words. Let’s look at the syntax:

  • “Come * right now * me”

To you or me, that may look like nonsense. However, Google search will search for that phrase knowing that the asterisks can be any word.

More often than not, you’ll find they are lyrics to The Beatles song “Come Together” and that’s what the search will tell you.

Find sites that are similar to other sites

This is a unique one that could be used by practically everyone if they knew it existed.

Let’s say you have a favorite website. It can be anything. However, that website is getting a little bit boring and you want to find other websites like it. You would use this trick. Below is the syntax:


If you search that above, you won’t find a link to Amazon. Instead, you’ll find links to online stores like Amazon. Sites like Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and others that sell physical items online. It’s a powerful Google search tool that can help you find new sites to browse.

Use Google Search to do Math

Google search can actually do the math for you. This is a rather complex one to describe because it can be used in so many ways. You can ask it basic questions or some more difficult ones.

This is handy if you need to do some quick math but don’t want to do it in your head.

Keep it simple

Now we’re getting into the general tips. Google search knows how to search for a lot of things. What this means is you don’t need to be too specific. If you need a pizza place nearby, use this to search.

  • Pizza places nearby

Google search will grab your location and deliver a variety of results about pizza places that are near you.

Gradually add search terms

There will come a time when Google search doesn’t shovel out the results you expect. In this instance, keeping it simple may not be the best option.

As Google itself suggests, the best method is to start with something simple then gradually get more complicated. See the example below:

  • First try: job interviews
  • Second try: prepare for job interviews
  • Third try: how to prepare for a job interview

This will gradually refine the search to bring you fewer, more targeted terms. The reason you don’t go straight from the first try to the third try is that you may miss what you’re looking for by skipping the second step.

Use words that websites would use

When people use Google search to hunt the web, they generally search for things using the same language that they would use for speaking.

Let’s look at some examples:

  • “I have a flat tire” could be replaced by “repair a flat tire.”
  • “My head hurts” could be replaced by “headache relief.”

Use important words only

When you search for too many words, it may limit your results. That means it may actually take you longer to find what you’re looking for. Thus, it is apropos to use only the important words when searching for something. Let’s see an example:

  • Don’t use: Where can I find a Chinese restaurant that delivers.
  • Instead try: Chinese restaurants nearby.
  • Or: Chinese restaurants near me.

Spelling doesn’t necessarily matter

Google search has gotten a lot smarter over the years. These days, you don’t even need to spell words correctly.

As long as it’s pretty close, Google can usually figure out what it means. Here are some examples:

  • If you search “Nver Gna Gve Yo Up” Google will automatically assume you mean to search for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” If by chance your misspelling was intentional, Google gives you the option to search for the misspelled term instead.

Find a specific file

An often forgotten feature of Google search is the ability to search for a specific file or file type. This can be infinitely useful if you need a specific PDF or PowerPoint file that you previously viewed or need to use for another project. The syntax is quite simple:

  • *Search term here* filetype:pdf

In the above example, you simply replace the search term with whatever you’re searching for. Then use the filetype command and enter the extension of any file type you can think of.

Money and unit conversions

Google search can quickly and accurately convert both measurement units and currency value. There are a variety of uses for this, like checking to see the conversion rate between two currencies.

If you happen to be a math student, you can use it to convert from feet to meters or from ounces to liters. Here’s how to do it:

  • miles to km – This will convert miles to kilometers. You can put numbers in front to convert a certain number. Like “10 miles to km” will show you how many kilometers are in 10 miles.
  • USD to British Pound Sterling – This will convert a US dollar to British pounds. Like the measurements above, you can add numbers to find exact conversions for a certain amount of money.


There are many ways on how to search on Google effectively. In this article, we have identified 22 ways on how to do it. Yet, the content of the list might be endless. Better yet, these are the most common ways on how to do Google Search Effectively. Here’s the list on How to Search on Google Effectively.

  1. Fine-Tune Your Query with More Keywords
  2. Search for Either One Word or Another
  3. Include Stop Words
  4. Exclude Irrelevant Words – Use a hyphen
  5. Search for Similar Words
  6. Search for an Exact Phrase – Use quotes
  7. Use Google’s Advanced Search Page
  8. Search Within Your Search Results
  9. Search Google’s Other Sites
  10. Use the tabs
  11. Use a Colon to Search Specific Sites
  12. You May Use the asterisk wildcard
  13. Find sites that are similar to other sites
  14. Use Google Search to do Math
  15. Keep it simple
  16. Gradually add search terms
  17. Use words that websites would use
  18. Use important words only
  19. Spelling doesn’t necessarily matter
  20. Find a specific file
  21. Money and unit conversions

Sources: Lifehack.Org and InformIT

How to Search on Google Effectively

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts