Everybody knows how to use Google, fewer people know how to get more from Google’s powerful search facilities. Here we list some of the most useful:
- Firstly make sure you have the Google search bar in your browser. It is incredibly convenient. To download one, type ‘google pack’ into Google, follow the links and select the programmes you want. (update, just get Chrome)
- Next, make sure you are only searching in the languages you can read, go to preferences and make your selection. Here you can also modify filtering if you want to exclude explicit material from the search results.
- Clicking the advanced search link on the home page will bring up a whole range of more detailed search criteria.
- Don’t type adverbs etc. i.e. When Fred was in Bristol, will return less searches than Fred Bristol. Also Google is not case sensitive, unless you are using Boolean Search devices see point 10.
- Badly designed customer sites or very large customer sites can be a nightmare to search. Go to the advanced search page where you can search within a site. As long as you know the URL (www etc), you can search within the whole of their site for that exclusive press release or obscure product recall notice etc.
- By placing the phrase in double inverted commas Google will only return pages with that exact phrase. Very useful when searching for particular people.
- If you are searching only the public sector or private sector search by domain by typing as follows: the search term:.com. Or for the public sector the search term:.org
- Adding the + sign will return pages with those connected terms ie Ford +General Motors (remember term1 space+term2).
- But when you want exclude pages with a particular term, say Chrysler, that’s easy too. Ford +General Motors -Chrysler
- If you want to search for two related search terms place OR in capitals between the two terms. London OR Manchester.
- The search bar is also a good calculator + – / x can easily be used. 123×1234. More complex equations are available for the more mathematically inclined.
- For proposal writing when you want to check a definition type define: and then the word.
Go Google. Other search engines are available.