You have been using Google for years, and you know how to use it, right? You generally find what you are searching for, right? Maybe not, there are many tricks you can utilize to make your Googling skills more effective and efficient. After learning about some of these trick in articles from the How-To Geek website and the Atlantic we decided to share the few we found to be helpful.

Operators are key

Operators are the keys when you are searching for specific information with a Google search. Think of operators as being the opposite of overly generic search terms. The How-To Geek site uses the illustration of a Google user who would like to uncover New York Times stories about test scores in college from 2008 to 2010. This same user, though, doesn’t want to obtain SAT scores. Seems like a difficult task, but with operators, it isn’t. First, if the user inserts the operator “site:” before the words “nytimes.com,” that user will only pull up results from the New York Times. The user may then add quotation marks around the words “test scores” to look for that exact phrase, not each of the words separately. If the user inserts the “-” operator in front of the word “SATs,” the user will remove the term “SATs” from the search. The user can then add 2008..2010 to show all results from a given time range. The “..” operator performs this nifty trick.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is fantastic if you are attempting to do very deep research. It only searches academic and scholarly work. As an example, if you are searching for a specific research paper written by anthropologist Dr. Forcella about snake mythology, you’d simply input the operator “author:” in front of “Forcella” followed by the phrase “snake mythology” into Google Scholar.

Control F

“Control F” is a way to search within your search results. For example, perhaps you are searching for a new outfit to wear to a holiday party. After searching for “party dress” you can hold control on your keyboard and click “F.” A small search bar will pop up in the top or bottom of your screen and in it you can search your results by typing “pink” or “long” to further narrow your search.


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