Tech Tip: Advanced Google search functions

Searching with more than basic keywords returns better results

Searching Google is a quick way to find information, but more advanced functions can help users find more helpful information faster.

To see a video version of this Tech Tip, watch a video on YouTube.

Travel is one category where Google is very useful. Type in a flight number such as "United 1111" and Google will return the flight status. Type in "time in Japan" and Google will show the local time there. Google makes converting measurements, be it miles to kilometers or teaspoons to millimeters, easy to figure out as well.

Forcing Google to return more specific results can be achieved by putting a search term in quotations. For example, searching "chocolate chip cookies" will only return results that have those three words in exactly that order.

To exclude certain keywords from results, use a dash or hyphen before the word. For example, if homeowners want to find information on windows, but not the Microsoft variety, a search term of "windows -microsoft" will exclude Microsoft from the results. Quotation marks are not needed.

To search within a website for keywords use "site:cnn.com obama." That search (without quotation marks) will return articles and pages that include U.S. President Barack Obama.

Search operators such as AND and OR, which are both case sensitive and need to be in capital letters for this sort of search, can be use in queries. For example "ipad AND apple" will return results that include both keywords while "ipad OR apple" will return results that include either word.

Nick Barber covers general technology news in both text and video for IDG News Service. E-mail him at Nick_Barber@idg.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjb.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetGooglesearch engines

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nick Barber

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Cate Bacon

Aruba Instant On AP11D

The strength of the Aruba Instant On AP11D is that the design and feature set support the modern, flexible, and mobile way of working.

Dr Prabigya Shiwakoti

Aruba Instant On AP11D

Aruba backs the AP11D up with a two-year warranty and 24/7 phone support.

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?