Google Search Tip: Tips on Using the Search Engine Effectively

Using Wildcards

Searching is easy when you know what you're looking for. But how about when the word you're seeking is right on the tip of your tongue, but won't make itself known? Use wildcards!

Substitute an asterisk (*) for exactly one word in a Google search. For example, [Killington Peak is * feet high]. Then Google will attempt to fill in the blank.

Google can also handle number ranges when searching. Two periods indicate that you're looking for a number between two other numbers. For example, searching for [Appalachian trail 5000..10000 feet] will give you results of trails in the range of 5,000 to 10,000 feet. The number ranges work with currency as well like [HDTV $500..$900].

Using quotation marks

Suppose you need to search for, Henry Jackson, Google will find all the pages with Henry and all the pages with Jackson, even if the words are unconnected. This finds 3.36 million results or more. However, if you put the words in quotation marks, this tells Google to treat them as one unit. Using ["Henry Jackson"] eliminates 3.1 million hits.

Define operator

If you do not have a dictionary on hand and do not know a free dictionary website online, you could use Google to search for the definition for you. For example, to find out the meaning of synesthesia, type define:synesthesia on Google's search box. This will give me results on its definition.

Google Q&A

Google has some exciting back-end AI to allow you to find just the facts upon entering simple questions or phrases like [when was Einstein born?] or [how Einstein died?].

Google has many special features to help you to find exactly what you're looking for. To read more into Google's web search features, click on the following link:

 

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