In this post I would like to share tips and tricks on Google search techniques. I believe that web search is best understood by examples. This manuscript contains mainly examples of search expressions and very few explanatory words.
First it may be helptul to get an idea about how search works? The following short movie (3.14 min)
by Google engineer Matt Cutts give a general good explanation about how search works...
Search engines keep changing their algorithm(s) and adding/removing features. Tools like
Google advanced search
may narrow your search and give you more relevant results. Nevertheless,
offers more advanced search features based on keywords and punctuations. They can be used in countless ways and combinations to provide relevant results.
22.3% * 19,321 returns 22.3 percent out of 19,321.
22.3% * $19,321 returns 22.3 percent out of 19,321
22.3% * 19,321 pound returns 22.3 percent out of 19,321
second in year returns 22.3 percent out of 19,321
hour in 100 year returns 22.3 percent out of 19,321
It seems that Google ignores punctuations on search queries, but there are
hello world c++ does not ignore +
Quotes "exact phrase"
If the query contains phrase in quotes, then Google returns pages that contains the same exact
"Godel incompleteness theorem"
"the best choice out of 3"
linux distribution "the best choice out of "
"linux distribution" "the best choice out of "
Notice that the and logic operator separates between the
two quoted phrases.
The asterisks * symbols replaced by any word(s). This can also be used inside quotes.
"Godel * theorem"
The query "dark * moon" may return results with the phrase
The query "car * accessories"
The $ symbol
The symbol $ is used for US dollar. Notice that typing $ into
Google search query, returns the $ Euro exchange rate.
It is possible to prevent words, sites or phrases from appearing in the result by using the
prefixing the - symbols. Examples:
blender -software -cloud -tutorial -foundation
state department -site:.gov
thought experiment -physics
Range of numeric values
To specify two numeric values in a range, say 12 and 29 we write 12..29. Examples:
star wars helmet $10..$20
linux laptop $400..$600
Spain "..1491" search for Spain along with numeric
value that is less or equal to 1491.
Spain "1790" search for Spain along with numeric
value that is greater or equal to 1790.
area of rectangle l=4 w=2
area of a circle r=5.2
area of ellipse a=2 b=3
pythagorean theorem formula a=3 b=4
Display a quick summarized information about a site. Examples
Search similar or related page(s) to certain web page. Examples:
(without space between the column and the website or
Returns web pages that are linking to a web page. Notice that
there should be no space between the column and the web address
that is being checked. In addition the results are usually not
Returns a snapshot of a page. Examples:
Google's snapshot of bbc.co.uk
Return information about a particular stock. Examples:
Find weather and forecast in specified location. Examples
weather: jefferson city
Limit the search to certain website(s). Example:
"Riemann hypothesis" site:ams.org limit the search
"Riemann hypothesis" site:.edu limit the search to
site with .edu domain name.
Return pages file with specified extensions. Examples:
"2008 crisis" filetype:pdf
"2008 crisis" filetype:xls
hello world filetype:cpp
"recession" filetype:xls site:.ru
goldbach filetype:pdf ps File type may either be
in pdf format or in ps format.
goldbach filetype:tex site:.edu
Find definition to a word or a phrase. Examples
define: "web search"
define: "cyber warfare"
Term in the domain name or page URL may say something about the content. For this
it make sense to look for keyword on the web-page address. Examples:
all the terms in the search query appears in the URL address. Examples: