With the billions of pages and trillions of words occupying the world wide web, it can be difficult to find the few pieces of information you’re actually looking for. Luckily, help is on the way! Here are a few tips and tricks to help you search the internet in a way that guarantees the results you were hoping for. After all, you want to work smart … not hard.
1. When you can’t remember the entire phrase.
Let’s say you forgot that one very important song lyric that you desperately need to find. Head to Google and type in the first word of the phrase, followed by “AROUND + (the actual number of missings words)” and end with the last word in the phrase. Take a look at the example below for a little more clarification. The phrase begins with the first words (“I wandered”), followed by “AROUND(4)”, and ends with the final word in the sentence (“cloud”).
2. When you need to cancel out unimportant search words.
If you want to scour the web for information but want to delete a certain word or words from the results, simply type a minus sign before them. For example, if you’re trying to find a website with a few interesting reads, but you don’t necessarily want to purchase them, you would type the following. You can thank us later.
3. When you need to search a certain topic within a website.
If you forgot to bookmark a fascinating article you wanted to re-read or share with friends, don’t panic. There’s actually an easy way to search within websites to locate that specific page again. In the Google search bar, enter the domain name of the site followed by a keyphrase or word from the article. Viola!
4. When you want results to include synonyms for your topic.
Sometimes it’s helpful to use similar words or phrases in your query, especially when doing research online. In order to do so, type the “~” symbol before the desired keyword. For example, typing healthy ~food will result in healthy recipes, healthy restaurants, healthy grocery shopping ideas, you get the idea.
5. When you want to find similar websites.
Have you ever found an incredible site that made you wonder what else was out there? There’s actually a way you can search for exactly that! All you need to do is type in “related:” followed by the source website you want the results to mirror. It’s as simple as that!
6. When you need to search within a specific time frame.
Let’s say you’re doing some sort of project or searching for statistics dating from the year 1900 to the year 2000. Wouldn’t it be helpful to limit your search results to that exact period of time? Of course! In this case, enter your topic and then “…” between the dates you’re searching for.
7. When you want results to include an entire key phrase.
This concept might be a little more familiar. If you’re searching for a song title, a quote, or any other specific piece of information, put your topic inside quotation marks. Google will filter your results to only display sites with those same words in that exact order. Brilliant, right?
8. When you can’t remember exactly what you’re forgetting.
This idea might change your life. If you’re stumped on the entire phrase, a few keywords, or certain numbers involving a topic, just remember the power of the asterisk. That’s right. Adding an asterisk in place of the information you can’t recall will alert Google to include results from every category of material. In the end, you should be able to find what you were looking for.
9. When you’re unsure of whether it’s this or that.
You might remember her name was Jennifer. But was it Lawrence or Anniston? If you’ve narrowed your topics down to a couple of different choices, Google can take it from there. Typing in the “|” symbol (on the same key as the backslash) or the word “or” between your two or three or four ideas will bring up all the information you need to get the final answer.
10. When you’re looking for a page title or specific URL.
If you remember the title of the article but not the website you found it on, or the reverse for that matter, there’s an easy way to find the missing links. Searching for the title? Simply type “intitle:” followed by your topic (the key point being not to include any spaces). If you’re looking for a specific URL, enter “inurl:” before the keywords. It’s literally like magic.
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