Do You Google?

Using Google effectively is a skill few business owners and corporate executives can afford to ignore. There is much more to searching the web using Google than just entering a few key words. Learning the correct way to structure your phrases will help you to perform sophisticated searches and get the information you desire more quickly.

Conducting a Basic Search
Almost everyone who surfs the web knows how to use Google to perform basic searches. Let’s face it, what is there to really know? Google’s interface is simple to use; just enter what you’re looking for into the search box and click the Google Search button.

What could be simpler? However, if this is all you do, you are missing out on some powerful techniques to make your experience a successful one.  Google’s search box, although simple, is a powerful tool that all business people should learn to master.

Conducting Effective Searches
To search Google effectively, you need to know the general rules:

  1. When entering more than one word into the search box, Google assumes you are looking for all of these words and returns results based on it finding relevant pages containing all of them. In short, the word “and” is assumed between all of the words you type into Google’s search box.
  2. Google ignores common words called Stop Words, such as: I, a, an, are, be, by, for, how, in, is, the, this, what, where, who, will, and with. For a more comprehensive list of Google Stop Words, just enter “Google stop words” into the Google search box. Then click on the relevant sites. Therefore, enter only the keywords you are looking for.
  3. Word order is important. Google considers the importance of the words in your search phrase according to the order they are listed and will show results accordingly.
  4. Google automatically includes variations of the words you are looking for including tenses, as well as singular and plural forms of the entered key words.

Advanced Search Techniques
What many Google users do not know is how to use special operators within their search phrases that will limit the results they receive to the most relevant sites that contain the data they are looking for. You can accomplish the same thing by using Google’s Advanced Search Page. Although easy to use, the Advanced Search page is, in my opinion, cumbersome and too slow when time is of the essence.
Following is an easy to use table of important Google Operators that you can use to become an efficient internet researcher. Learning to use these special operators will help you conduct your searches more quickly.

Important Google Search Operators

TYPE OF SEARCH OPERATOR EXAMPLE COMMENT
Exact Phrase Quotation Marks (“”) “Microsoft Office 2007” Google will return results based on all of the words within the quotations appearing in the results, including Stop Words.
Excluding a Word Minus Sign (-) instruments –musical Google will show pages about instruments EXCEPT musical instruments. Make sure you include a space before the minus sign but no space after the minus sign.
Search Within a Specific Domain site: IRA deduction site:.gov Google will show only results within the .gov domain.
Search for terms Within URLs intitle: intitle:free Google will show web sites with the word free in their URLs
Find sites with expressions similar to your search term Tilde (~) ~auto Google will return sites for cars, autos, automobiles, etc.
Search for specific file types filetype: auto filetype:pdf Google will return sites that contain PDF versions of documents about automobiles
Search for words only  within the body of web pages For single words – intext:
For multiple words – allintext
intext:auto
allintext:red auto
Google will show those pages that contain the search words in the body of the text
Find pages that link to a target site link: Link:www.xsolutions.com Google will show a list of sites that have links to the target site.
Find pages similar to a target site related: related:www.xsolutions.com Google will find web pages that are similar to the target site

There is no doubt about it. Google is the premier search engine on the net today. Learning to use Google power will enhance your surfing experience and provide you with the means of gathering important information from all over the world.

This article should serve as a good starting point to using Google more productively in your business related searches. For more detail, enter “Google Search Operators” into the Google search box. As of the date this article was written, there were 15,700 results. Plenty of reading material to absorb on your way to becoming a Google search expert!

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