Advanced Google Search Shortcuts

Using computer
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If you've ever plugged a search into Google and wondered why the returned results are different than what you were hoping to see, you're not alone. Even though search technology has advanced by leaps and bounds over the last several years, search engines are still somewhat limited to what they are able to do, and they certainly haven't evolved to being able to read the average searcher's mind. Many searchers simply get used to being frustrated with their search results - and it definitely does not have to be that way.

 

To that end, it's always useful to have a good grasp on some basic (and quite a few not so basic!) Google search commands that can help you find what you're looking for quickly. From word definitions to math problems to searching within the text of a website, book, or magazine, these advanced Google search commands will help you quickly find what you're looking for the next time you use the world's most popular search engine to find something. 

Google ShortcutFinds Pages That Have...
nokia phonethe words nokia and phone
sailing OR boatingeither the word sailing or the word boating
"love me tender"the exact phrase love me tender
printer -cartridgethe word printer but NOT the word cartridge
Toy Story +2movie title including the number 2
~autolooks up the word auto and synonyms
define:serendipitydefinitions of the word serendipity
how now * cowthe words how now cow separated by one or more words
+addition; 978+456
-subtraction; 978-456
*multiplication; 978*456
/division; 978/456
% ofpercentage; 50% of 100
^raise to a power; 4^18 (4 to the eighteenth power)
old in new (conversion)45 celsius in Fahrenheit
site:(search only one website)site:lifewire.com "torrent sites"
link:(find linked pages)link:www.lifehacker.com
#...#(search within a number range)nokia phone $200...$300
daterange:(search within specific date range)bosnia daterange:200508-200510
safesearch: (exclude adult content)safesearch:breast cancer
info: (find info about a page)info:www.lifewire.com
related: (related pages)related:www.lifewire.com
cache: (view cached page)cache:google.com
filetype:(restrict search to specific filetype)zoology filetype:ppt
allintitle: (search for keywords in page title)allintitle:"nike" running
inurl:(restrict search to page URLs)inurl:chewbacca
site:.edu (specific domain search)site:.edu, site:.gov, site:.org, etc.
site:country code (restrict search to country)site:.br "rio de Janeiro"
intext:(search for keyword in body text)intext:parlor
allintext: (return pages with all words specified in body text)allintext:north pole
book(search book text)book The Lord of the Rings
phonebook:(find a phone number)phonebook:Google CA
bphonebook: (find business phone numbers)bphonebook:Intel OR
rphonebook:(find residential phone numbers)rphonebook:Joe Smith Seattle WA
movie:(search for showtimes)movie:wallace and gromit 97110
stocks:(get a stock quote)stocks:ncesa
weather:(get local weather)weather:97132

 

Once you have all of the above search commands mastered, you should see a marked increase in the quality of your search results. Of course, it's always smart to experiment a little with how you frame your search query; after all, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again (but just use a different search string!).

Most searches are not successful the very first time, but these advanced search tips can help you get where you need to go faster and more efficiently.

Like these advanced search tips and want to know even more how you can use Google to find what you're looking for faster, better, and smarter? You'll want to read Six Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Google, the Top Ten Google Search Tricks You Should Know About, or How to Google Your Way to Better Search Results. All of these articles will give you simple step by step instructions on how to make your Google searches more relevant. 

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