12 Most High-Powered Ways to Use Google Search Queries in Daily Life
There is one thing that is not slowing down online — the creation of new documents and data. Search engines are great aggregators, but that is not enough to find what you are looking for most of the time.
Take control of search results by using the following filters.
1. Use the right search engine
The first step is to make sure you are using the right search engine. Google is great at pulling in resources from the entire web. Other search engines are more limited, but also more accurate because of this fact.
2. Search websites for free resources
Google has all sorts of operators you can use to limit the results it returns. One of my favorites is the site: operator. It allows you to search any indexed website. Use this query to find professional quality resources for your website “site:dribbble.com free social media icons.” Dribbble is an elite gathering of designers who showcase their work and often share free files.
3. Trace links
This is an old trick for finding links to competitors and it can also be used to find links to your own website. That is the link: operator. It is only a small sampling as SEOmoz tells us, but I still think it gives a good rough overview. Webmaster tools give you a more complete look at backlinks.
4. Spot trends
Google allows you to see trends over time. I love using this when I do research for topics for my blog. You can see cycles over time and even compare multiple search queries.
5. Search your email intelligently
There are search commands for Gmail! Google gives you a ton of space so you can archive everything, but they don’t give you tips on how to retrieve that information. Here are some tips on the ways to use search operators to find what you are looking for in archived mail.
6. Search titles
Your average Google search returns websites that match your keywords anywhere on the page. This is not always what we are looking for. You can be more specific by using the intitle: search operator. This is another reason why you need to craft good titles. You can use the intitle: search operator to find a post if you forgot to bookmark it.
There is a special markup for recipes that Google recognizes. This creates special snippets that show things like ingredients and cooking time. Recipes have their own tab under “more.” You can filter the results using the search tools menu.
8. Related searches
Have you ever found a really great resource and wished you can find something similar? Yes, Google can do this for you using the related: operator.
Do you use Google News? I really like the source: operator when I am trying to confirm a story. I just trust some outlets more than others. For example, source: New York Times is a good one.
10. Get the right document
Google search supports a filetype: operator. You can use this to find specific document types like PDF, PowerPoint, or Excel. I use this to find graphics, templates, and reports. Here is an example of searching for PDFs on marketing: filetype: pdf marketing.
11. Look up words
Writers take note: although I often use Ninjawords, in a pinch Google search can be used as a dictionary. Simply use define: operator.
12. Conversions and calculations
Often overlooked is Google’s ability to do conversions. Turn feet into meters, cups into liters, do simple arithmetic, or find “the answer to life, the universe and everything.”
Featured image courtesy of cloudchaser32000 licensed via Creative Commons.