Almost everything can be found on the internet, and one of the most popular methods for finding information is through Google.
Despite the fact that you may think it goes without saying, a lot of internet users are unaware of the proper and efficient ways to use Google search.
In truth, Googling is an art.
You have to ask the correct questions in order to receive the appropriate answers. Furthermore, you need to know what questions to ask in order to receive the proper answers fast.
And that’s what this tutorial is all about: learning the how part. The following are some useful hints and techniques that can help you quickly and successfully obtain the accurate answers to your questions.
- How to Do a Good Google Search
- 1. To find a “EXACT” match, use quotations
- 2. Use site: to search within a certain website
- 3. Use – to remove a term from search results
- 4. Use imagesize to search for photos of a specific size
- 5. Use filetype to look for a certain filetype
- 6. To conduct searches, use the wildcard
- 7. Use AND and OR logic to combine searches
- 8. Use AFTER:, BEFORE:, or.. between two numbers to exclude searches
- 9. Use related to look at related websites
- 10. Use the cache to view a website that Google has cached
How to Do a Good Google Search
1. To find a “EXACT” match, use quotations
Typically, a routine Google search yields results that are somewhat narrow. This could lead to pages that might or might not include every word you specified in your search query.
However, Google will perform a deep search if you include your question or search query (either a term or a phrase) in quotation marks, such as this: “your question goes here”. This implies that every result you get will have pages for every word you put in quotes in your query.
This is helpful when you truly want a particular term or phrase to be included in your search results.
2. Use site: to search within a certain website
Simply put site: before the query you’re looking for to have Google provide results from that website.
This is also useful if you wish to search within a website that doesn’t have a very good internal search function or doesn’t have one at all.
For instance, a search for “site:freecodecamp.org react” will only return results pertaining to the React section of the www.freecodecamp.org website.
3. Use – to remove a term from search results
Simply put – in front of a keyword or phrase if you don’t want it to show up in your search results.
If you search for “how to write components in React -class,” for example, all the results that don’t contain the word “class” will show up. This means that it will only provide you with options to develop functional components in React if you have some experience with it.
4. Use imagesize to search for photos of a specific size
Include the width and height in pixels along with the tag imagesize: in your search query to find images of a specific size.
Only pixels should be used for dimensions; for instance, imagesize:500×500 will produce results with pictures that are 500 pixels by 500 pixels in size. Thus, photographs of adorable dogs with an image size of 500 pixels by 600 pixels will appear when you search for “cute dog images imagesize:500×600” (because why not).
5. Use filetype to look for a certain filetype
If you want to retrieve search results that have a certain file type such as PDF or PPT, then add filetype: (without the angular brackets). React tutorial filetype, for instance:PDF will produce results that have PDF included in them, as this graphic illustrates:
6. To conduct searches, use the wildcard
Use the wildcard * character in your search query or inquiry if you are unsure of any terms or have forgotten them. Google will substitute it with appropriate phrases for you.
A search on => the * of money, for instance, will get the following results. There will be numerous sections that discuss concepts like “money exchange,” “money use,” and “money role.”
7. Use AND and OR logic to combine searches
Put the AND keyword in between two terms if you want them to appear in your search results. For instance, a search on => React AND Angular will return results containing both of those phrases.
Similarly, place the OR keyword between the terms if you want either of them to appear in your search results. For instance, a search on => React OR Angular will return results containing either or both of the phrases.
8. Use AFTER:, BEFORE:, or.. between two numbers to exclude searches
Use the element AFTER: to instruct Google to display search results that were published after a specific year. For instance, results from searches conducted after 2020 will appear when you type in => React tutorials AFTER:2020.
In a similar vein, adding the tag BEFORE: will yield results that were released prior to a specific year.
Additionally, you can look for outcomes that were published between any two numbers or within a specific year range. To search between two integers, simply add.. and any applicable units between them.
9. Use related to look at related websites
The related: tag can be used to find out all the other websites that are comparable to a specific website that are available online.
An inquiry on related:google.com, for instance, will retrieve every website that is comparable to Google, including Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and so on.
10. Use the cache to view a website that Google has cached
Google caches webpages in order to deliver search results rapidly. Simply include the tag cache: in front of the website’s URL to find out if Google has cached any content or not.
Web developers will find this especially useful if they want to verify if they are now viewing the most recent version of a website or a cached site after making changes to the website. For instance, on August 4, 2022, the day I wrote this lesson, a search for => cache:www.sohamderoy.dev yields the following result:
As you can see, Google cached the website on August 3, 2022, so even though I’m searching for the site on August 4, 2022, I still see a copy of the site from that date.
As Google itself states, “Not all search operators return exhaustive results.” This is a crucial point to remember.
Still, I feel that there are some extremely important suggestions that help you make an effective and efficient Google search. I hope I’ve adequately described them and inspired you to use them in your typical Google searches.