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Everyone needs to know these 7 Google search tricks

Updated Jan 10th, 2023 9:32AM EST
Google Search Tips
Image: Kyodo/Newscom/The Mega Agency

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When Google’s search engine burst onto the scene in 1997, the market was littered with a myriad of search engines. From WebCrawler to AltaVista, search back in the late 90s was akin to the Wild West. It didn’t take long, however, for Google to eventually dominate the search engine market. And if we’re being honest, the victory was well deserved.

Google’s search engine offered up decidedly more relevant results than competitors at the time. Fast forward to 2021 and is the most visited website in the world and accounts for well over 90% of the global search engine market.

Suffice it to say, most everyone these days uses Google for search. But not everyone is using Google search to its full potential. Whereas most people use Google to quickly type in a query and gaze upon the results, there are a few power user tricks and tips that can take your googling to the next level. Especially if you want to really drill down and find specific information without being bogged down by irrelevant search results, these Google search tricks below will be nothing short of a goldmine.

Google search tips

Google Search Tips and TricksImage source: Teerasan/Adobe

The topic of Google search made tech headlines recently when Twitter user Chris Hladczuk posted a great thread highlighting easy-to-use but often overlooked Google search techniques. Some of these may be familiar to seasoned tech users, but there will undoubtedly be some new gems as well. We’ve also supplemented Hladczuk’s list with a few more Google search hacks.

Use quotation marks

If you use quotation marks, Google will only return exact matches for your search query.

Use a dash to exclude words from your search

The example Hladczuk uses is instructive. If you want to search for information on dolphins but don’t want any results associated with the NFL team Miami Dolphins, typing in dolphins -football will exclude football-related search results.

Quickly retrieve a stock quote

If you type in a company’s stock ticker into Google, you can see the share price immediately. Instead of typing in “Apple share price”, for example, you can simply type in AAPL and the last trading price will appear.

Use a tilde to find synonyms

If you type in cheap shoes as a query, you’ll see a list of relevant results. However, if you type in ~cheap shoes, you’ll see related searches for inexpensive shoes, affordable shoes, etc., show up in your search results

Use two periods

Using two periods in a search query will look for information within a specific range. If, for example, you type in NBA MVP 1984..2002, you’ll see answers pertaining to that range. While this tip works better in theory than in practice, it’s worth being aware of if you’re having trouble finding a result you need.

Search by filetype

If you’re specifically looking for a PDF, for example, you can streamline your search such that you only see PDF files in the search results. To do this type in your query and then type in “filetype:pdf” like so: jeff bezos filetype:pdf. Note that this nifty trick can be used for an assortment of file types, including .doc, .ppt, .mp3, and more.

Search a specific domain

If you’re looking something up but only want to scour answers from a particular domain, Google makes it easy. All you have to do is specify the domain by adding “site:” before it. Say, for example, you want Lebron James articles only from ESPN. You’d simply type in Lebron James.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.