Summary Information

  • Understanding Search Engines
  • Basic Search Techniques
    • Use Keywords: Start with the main words related to your topic.
    • Phrase Search: Use quotes ("") to search for an exact phrase.
    • Exclude Words: Use the minus (-) sign before a word to exclude it from the search results.
  • Advanced Search Techniques
    • Site-Specific Search: Use site: followed by a domain to search within a specific website.
    • Related Sites: Use related: to find sites similar to a specified site.
    • File Type Search: Use filetype: to search for specific file types, like PDF or DOC.
  • Search Operators
    • AND: Ensures both terms appear in the result.
    • OR: Ensures either of the terms appear in the result.
    • NOT: Excludes a term from the search.
  • Evaluating Search Results
    • Check the Domain: Trusted domains like .edu, .gov, or well-known organisations can be more reliable.
    • Publication Date: Recent information might be more relevant for certain topics.
    • Author Credentials: Check the author's qualifications and background.
  • Safety and Privacy
    • Use Private Browsing: This mode doesn't store your browsing history, cookies, or search queries.
    • Consider Using Privacy-focused Search Engines: Such as DuckDuckGo.
    • Avoid Clicking on Suspicious Links: Look for HTTPS and trusted domains.
  • Using Search Tools
  • Staying Updated
    • Google Alerts: Set up alerts for specific keywords to get updates.
    • RSS Feeds: Subscribe to websites to get the latest content.
  • SEO - Search Engine Optimisation
Looking into the tornado of search

1. Phrase Search

Description: Using quotation marks around a set of words ensures that the search engine looks for the exact phrase within the quotes.
Example: If you’re researching the famous quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, you could search for “to be or not to be”. This ensures you get results containing that exact phrase.

2. Exclude Words

Description: The minus (-) sign allows users to exclude specific words or sites from the search results.
Example: If you’re looking for information about the planet Mercury but not the car brand, you could search for Mercury -car.

3. Site-Specific Search

Description: This technique restricts the search results to a specific domain or website.
Example: If you want to find articles about artificial intelligence on The Guardian’s website, you’d search for artificial intelligence.

4. Related Sites

Description: This helps users find websites similar to a known one.
Example: If you enjoy content from National Geographic and want to discover similar websites, you’d search for

5. File Type Search

Description: This technique filters results to specific file types.
Example: If you’re looking for PowerPoint presentations about quantum physics, you’d search for quantum physics filetype:ppt.

6. Wildcard Search

Description: The asterisk (*) acts as a placeholder for any word or words in a phrase.
Example: If you’re trying to recall a quote but can’t remember some words, you might search for “early to bed and * to rise” to find Benjamin Franklin’s adage “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

7. Search Within a Number Range

Description: This technique filters results within a specific numerical range.
Example: If you’re shopping for a camera and have a budget of $200 to $400, you’d search for camera $200..$400.

8. Define

Description: This provides the definition of a word.
Example: If you come across a word you’re unfamiliar with, like “sycophant”, you’d search for define:sycophant.

9. Stock Information

Description: This provides stock market information for a specific company using its ticker symbol.
Example: If you want to check the stock performance of Microsoft, you’d simply search for its ticker symbol, MSFT.

10. Calculator

Description: Google’s search bar can perform mathematical calculations.
Example: If you’re trying to calculate the area of a circle with a radius of 7 (using the formula πr^2), you’d type in 3.14159 * 7^2.

By understanding and utilizing these advanced techniques, users can refine their searches, making it easier to find the exact information they’re seeking on Google.