Internet, Networking, & Security Around the Web 72 72 people found this article helpful 12 Easy Google Search Hacks Search more efficiently with these Google search tips By Marziah Karch Writer Marziah Karch is a former writer for Lifewire who also excels at Serious Game Design and develops online help systems, manuals, and interactive training modules. our editorial process Marziah Karch Updated January 02, 2020 Chris Sadowski / Getty Images Around the Web How to Get a VPN Tweet Share Email Whether you use Google Search for business, research, school, entertainment, or some other reason, you can benefit from knowing a few tips that maximize your search efficiency. Google Search is home to 3.5 billion searches a day. Keep your search results on target with these Google hacks everyone should know. Use Quotes Chris Jackson / Getty Images When you are looking for an exact phrase in Google search, put it in quotes in the search field to limit the results. For example: "the ides of march" You can combine the use of quotation marks with many other search tricks, such as the Boolean feature OR: "a wrinkle in time" OR "a wind in the door" Find Quick Website Info Daniel Grizelj / Getty Images Use the Google shortcut info:your_url to find quick information about a specific website. Do not put a space between info: and the URL, but you can omit the "http://" part of the address. For example: info.www.google.com Not all web pages are configured to return results. Boolean Searches Eva Katalin Kondoros / Getty Images Two basic Boolean search commands supported in Google are AND and OR. Use AND to search for all the search terms. For example "summer AND winter" searches for documents containing both "summer" and "winter," while using OR searches for one term or the other, "summer" or "winter." AND Google defaults to AND searches automatically, so you don't need to type "AND" into the search engine to get that result. OR If you want to find one keyword or another, use the term OR. It's important that you use all caps, or Google will ignore your request. To find all documents containing either sausages or biscuits, type: sausages OR biscuits You can also substitute the "pipe" character for OR and enter: sausages | biscuits Convert Currency Alex Segre / Getty Images To convert currency in Google Search, search using the format "starting currency in desired currency." For example, to find out how much the Canadian dollar is worth in U.S. dollars today, in the Google Search field, type: Canadian dollar in us dollar The calculator graphic appears at the top of the results screen along with the answer in large type. Currency conversion is part of Google's hidden calculator, which can convert all sorts of things to other things, including units of measure such as gallons into liters and miles per gallon into kilometers per liter. Definitions WIN-Initiative / Getty Images If you want to find a word's definition quickly, type define: followed by the word. For example: define: loquacious This triggers one of Google's hidden search engines, which will find the definition by comparing several online dictionaries. You'll see the definition and a link to the original information source in case you want to search further. Synonym Searches Corbis / Getty Images Can't think of a word? Use Google to search for both your search terms and synonyms. A synonym is a word or phrase that means the same thing or close to the same thing. When you put a tilde ~ in front of your search term, Google looks for both your chosen search term and synonyms for that term. Numrange Searches Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images Sometimes you may want to narrow your Google search by finding things in a specified number range, such as fashion icons from the 1920s to the 1960s, cars that get 30 to 50 miles per gallon, or computers priced from $500 to $800. Google lets you do just that with Numrange searches. You can perform a Numrange search on any sequential set of numbers by typing two periods between the numbers without any spaces. For example, you could search by typing these keyphrases in the Google search field: fashion icons 1920..1960cars 30..50 mpgcomputer $500..$800 Whenever possible, give Google some context for your numbers. Are they miles per gallon, stitches per minute, pounds, or cases? With the exception of dollar signs, you should put a space between your numbers and the keyword that gives those numbers context, just like the car search example. You'll probably also be more successful if you use an industry-standard abbreviation, such as "mpg" rather than spelling out "miles per gallon." When in doubt, you could search for both terms at once by using a Boolean OR search. That would make the car search: cars 30..50 mpg OR cars 30...50 miles per gallon Filetype Searches Yenpitsu Nemoto / Getty Images Google can let you restrict your searches to file types. This can be helpful when you're looking specifically for file types, such as PowerPoint (ppt). Word (doc) or Adobe PDF files. To restrict your search to a specific file type, use the filetype: command. For example, try searching for: bad hotel filetype:ppt To search for a forgotten widget report, try: widget report filetype.doc If you are searching for videos, use Google Video search instead. Exclude or Add Words Newton Dal / Getty Images Use the minus sign to exclude words from your search. Combine it with quotes to make it even more powerful. "pot bellied" -pig Put a space before the minus sign but do not put a space between the minus sign and the word or phrase you want to be excluded. Use the same trick with a plus sign to automatically include a word in your results. "pot bellied" +pig Search Within Website Titles Sometimes you may want to find webpages where one or more words appear in the title of the page rather than just the body. Use intitle: Do not put a space between the colon and the word you want to appear in the title. intitle:feeding iguana This will find webpages that are relevant to the keyphrase "feeding iguana," and it will only list results that have the word "feeding" in the title. You can also force both words to appear in the title: intitle:feeding intitle:iguana You can also use the syntax allintitle: which only list results where all the words in the keyphrase are in the title. allintitle:iguana feeding Search Within a Website Westend61 / Getty Images You can use Google's site: syntax to restrict your search to find only results within a single website. Make sure there's no space between site: and your desired website. Follow your website with a space and then the desired search phrase. You don't need to use the http:// or https:// portion of the URL. site:bread4U.com bread pudding recipes The second half is the search phrase. It is usually better to use more than one word in your search to narrow down the search results. This same search can be widened to include all the websites within a top-level domain. Google used to have a verticle search engine called "Uncle Sam" that only searched within government websites. It has been discontinued, but using this trick gets pretty close to the same results. For example: site:gov geographic survey Idaho or try only schools and universities: site:edu textbook or only specific countries: site:uk search terms Find Cached Websites If a website has recently changed or is not currently responding, you can search for a term in the last cached page stored in Google by using the Cache: syntax. cache:google.bread4U.com bread pudding recipes This language is case sensitive, so make sure "cache:" is lower case. You also need to make sure there is no space between cache: and your URL. You do need a space between your URL and your search phrase. It's not necessary to put the "http://" part in the URL. Use Command+F on a Mac or Control+F on a PC to highlight keywords or jump to the desired term on a website.