When you have a question or query where’s the first place you turn to? Unless you’ve been living on some remote island for the last 15 years, odds are the first place you turn to to satisfy your curiosity is Google.
With over 3.3 billion searches a day, Google has quickly become the go-to source for inquisative minds the world over, but have you ever stopped to think about how Google became the information giant it is today? Before you turn to your favorite search engine for the answer, we’ll kill the suspense – Google searches work as well as they do largely because of powerful algorithms that match relevant search queries with the most likely answer matches. This means that you can play a bigger part than you may have thought in coming up with the answer you’re looking for.
As with any algorithm, there are plenty of tricks that you can master to get the most accurate search results time & time again. Here are some of our favorite tricks to conduct the perfect Google searches:
Search operators are key symbols that you can add to turn an average search into a fine-tuned query. These symbols and terms give Google a better, more accurate understanding of what you’d like it to find. For example, let’s search the most generic word we can think of: potato.
Typing Potato alone – this basic search will fetch the basic go-to information for your favorite starchy spud. Obvious things like pictures & Wikipedia information will come up here.
If you add quotations to your search, Google will know to find the exact word you’re looking for. The word in question and other nouns like bands, movies, or other pop-cultural influences will come up in this deeper, more precise search. You can also add multiple words inside of your quotation to come up with other fine-tuned searches like “Red Potato”.
Adding a minus (-) to a search will exclude certain words from your query. For example, if you type in soup recipe -potato, you’ll likely find a ton of awesome recipes (sans the spuds). Just make sure not to insert a space before the minus sign.
By adding link: before searching a URL, you’ll find additional web pages that link to your site in question.
Include a specific site to your Google search to find information on your topic of choice within that site. In this case, you’ll find interesting historical tidbits on potatoes like the cursed Irish Potato Famine of 1845.
by adding related: to your search, you can ask Google to find searches similar to the one you mentioned. For example, if you type related: potato.ca, you’ll get information on yams, sweet potatoes and other related root vegetables.
“My My Miss American *”
Forgot a word in a lyric or phrase? Put the parts you know in quotations and add an asterisk in place of the forgotten word and Google will help you find it.
Sweet potato OR Idaho potato
If you type the word OR in capital letters between search terms, you ask the search engine to present the pages that contain only one of two options. Remove the OR and you’ll come up with pages that mention both.
Put this in your search query and you’ll get the latest version that Google has stored on the site.
This search will give you different information about the URL, such as cached versions, similar pages & sites that link to the web address in question.
Another great Google hack to fine tune your search query is to add these symbols to your search.
& : Indicates a strong connection between words or search phrases. ie: Hockey & Florida will give you information on some of your favorite sunshine state hockey related things.
% : Can’t find a calculator? Try Googling it. Your favorite store has 55% off a $90 tshirt? Type 55% off of $90 and Google will calculate the savings for you.
# : Allows you to find trends related to a specific hashtag.
@ : Put an @ in front of a word or phrase, and Google will search for relevant social media mentions. For example @Wix will show pages and accounts that mention Wix on social media channels.
And of course, once you’ve mastered the art of Google, make sure your own website can be easily found in search engines with these Wix SEO Basics.
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