My Top 5 Googling Tricks
Moore-Wilson takes a look at 5 Google tricks that will transform your searches.
It happens to all of us from time to time; the struggle to attain that elusive piece of information that you just cannot find – no matter what you search for. As a member of the SEO team at Moore-Wilson, I spend more time than most using search engines to find all manner of websites. As a result, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks that can make searching easier and should help you return more relevant results each time you use a search engine. Today I’m going to share a few of these tips and tricks with you. I can sense the anticipation escalating from here. It’s worth noting that all of my examples will be using Google UK unless otherwise stated.
There is no excuse for a website that doesn’t have a well operating search function in today’s world; in fact, the only thing that is more irritating than this is a website that doesn’t have a search function at all (I’m looking at you, Groupon). If this is the case though, all is not lost. You don’t have to sift through endless pages looking for the one that you want, you just need to make use of Google’s site: command.
The site: command allows you to search the indexed pages of a particular website through Google. Queries should be formatted as such:
For a more real-world example, say you were in need of a new vacuum cleaner and you’re a bit of a savvy spender so, naturally, you want to shop on Groupon. Instead of scrolling through the endless deals, you could use Google to search for the following:
"Site:groupon.co.uk vacuum cleaner"
After refining my search to results from within the last month, I am left with the following:
Much easier than scrolling aimlessly, I’m sure you’ll agree!
If asked, I think a lot of us would say that we’d like to eat more healthily. Changing your diet can be tough though, alongside our busy jobs and limited time for hobbies a lot of us simply don’t have the time for calorie counting.
Google’s handy nutritional comparison tool can make this a tad easier though! To activate it, the query should be typed as so:
"Compare *Food 1* and *Food 2*"
So for example, if you wanted to compare bacon with mashed potato you’d type:
‘Compare bacon and mashed potato’
That search will trigger a results page that looks very similar to the following:
What’s useful about this tool is that it now alters depending on the food preparation. For example, my mash was prepared with milk and butter…just the way I like it. It’s worth noting that Google gets its statistics from the US Department of Agriculture's National Nutrient Database, so the values may differ slightly when compared to UK equivalents. Happy eating!
As much as search engines aid our lives, they can be ever so slightly irritating at times, especially when they continually return incorrect or irrelevant search results. Luckily there’s an easy way to get around this – by using the exclude keyword command.
The most obvious scenario that comes to mind is if you’re shopping for something – say black jeans – and an unwanted shop/store keeps popping up. By using the exclude keyword command, you are able to prevent a particular word or website from appearing within the search results.
Searching for black jeans on Google Shopping presents me with the following set of results.
If for some reason I didn’t wish to shop at surfdome.com, I could search for the following:
"Black jeans –surfdome"
By doing this I’m telling Google that I don’t wish to see results that contain the word surfdome; as a result surfdome.com is effectively removed from the search results.
There are times when looking for a particular piece of information that you want the information presented in a certain style or format. This is when the filetype: command is useful.
As you can probably work out from the name, filetype is a Google command that restricts search results to a particular file type.
The syntax for a filetype search is as follows:
"*Keywords* Filetype:*file extension*"
Therefore, if for example you wanted to learn about the basics of cloud computing and you wanted this information presented in an Adobe PDF document; you would search for the following:
"Cloud computing basics filetype:pdf"
And, as you can see, all the results returned are PDFs
Google can index most pages and file types, just bear in mind that by limiting your search to a specific type of file, you can often return fewer results; this can limit the effectiveness of your search.
The fifth and final tip on my list is less a useful search tip and more of a drain on company resource/enormous waste of work time. However, it is quite fun so I feel like it’s my duty to let you all know.
If you search for ‘Atari Breakout’ on Google and then click on the ‘images’ tab, the image grid morphs into a game of Atari Breakout!
And there’s not much more to add to that!
Thanks for reading; I hope that you’ve found my blog post interesting. If you have, please feel free to share!