Want to make Google more useful? Want to find exactly what you’re looking for?
Okay, let’s be honest: you just want to use these tips to impress your friends.
5) Add a minus symbol to exclude certain terms
Out of all the tips listed here, this is one I like to use on a daily basis. You can add a minus symbol and a keyword after your search to exclude certain terms.
If you’re searching for “Kings” but want to exclude sports teams, you might type:
Kings -hockey -basketball
This tells Google that you want results about kings and you don’t want those results to include hockey (like the Los Angeles Kings) or basketball (like the Sacramento Kings).
4) Search within a certain site
Most websites have their own search engine somewhere. Unfortunately, this search engine isn’t usually very good.
That’s why it’s often easier to search through the site on Google. To do that, type in the following modifier:
Site:fixmypcfree.com pc tips
That’s it! This will display results from only our site that are related to PC tips.
Or, in this far cuter example, you can search only for sloths on a cute animals website:
3) Avoid buying a graphing calculator
This tip will blow your mind (well, maybe not, but it’s still pretty cool). You can use Google as a graphing calculator and graph out various equations. If you’re not graphing complex operations, you can also use Google for basic addition, subtraction, and multiplication.
You’ll need to use Google on a desktop browser with WebGL enabled to see a search result like the one posted above.
Whether you’re refreshing your high school math lessons or trying to do work without a graphing calculator, Google’s graphing functions are surprisingly powerful.
2) Identify file types
Want to find a certain .pdf file or PowerPoint presentation online? If so, then combing through dozens of results to find the specific file you need isn’t ideal.
That’s why you need to perform a filetype search. A filetype search looks like this:
Simply type in your search term followed by filetype:[your file type]
It works for all popular file types.
One popular tip for learning about a subject is to search for say, French Revolution filetype:ppt
That will give you PowerPoint presentations (typically from high schools or universities) where main points about the French Revolution have been succinctly explained and summarized. Awesome!
Before you think you’re smart, no, Google does not let you search for copyrighted .mp3 files using this method. However, you can sometimes get lucky.
1) Realize that Google tracks your entire search history
Check out this link: www.google.com/history
How scary is that? Google keeps track of all searches you’ve performed over time. You can go way back in your search history and even look at travel searches, financial searches, and – unsettlingly enough – camera searches.
This one isn’t really a tip, but it’s something to be aware of: Google knows all, and if you’re searching something today, Google is actually tailoring your results based on your past searches.
If you search for “Hotels in Munich”, for example, then Google might remember that you booked a hotel in Munich last February and provide that hotel as the first result.
If you want to see Google results which are not influenced by your history, then use Incognito Mode by pressing Shift+Control+N.
You can also remove certain results from your Google history at the above link, or better yet, prevent Google from tracking your history under the Settings menu in the top right corner.