Not that long ago I taught a workshop on using Google tools for Social Media Marketing. [Igoogle and google’s gadgets make for an easy sole practitioner / small business social media dashboard]. There were some questions concerning search in general, though. What could be more important than getting to the information you need quickly and efficiently, whether social media related or not? I hope these methods of search on Google will get you to the information you need faster:
Searching for: A phrase verbatim
Type in the box: quotation marks
Results: Find only the exact phrase in the exact order as entered. Example: “Stunt Kites”
Searching for: A specific product or topic regardless of the site
Type in the box: intitle:“Any phrase”
Results: Searches the title of a page only. Microsoft Word intitle:templates will give you any pages that mention Microsoft Word and have the word ‘templates” in the title.
tip:Use allintitle:”any phrase” if you only want to search titles and not any other part of a page’s content.
Searching for: This but not that. Narrowed down information by excluding terms
Type in the box: minus sign (hyphen)
Results: Macy’s -parade give’s you all the store info without any images of Bullwinkle balloons
Searching for: Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets, PDFs
Type in the box: filetype:pdf, filetype:doc, filetype: ppt
Results:ONLY the filetype you requested such as boilerplate Profit and loss Statement filetype:xls
Searching for: Something only on one site
Type in the box: site:
Results: food allergies site:www.webMD.com finds information only from WebMD. You can also add a “-” like this: food allergies -site:www.webMD.com to get information from everyone else except webMD.
These are just a few examples. You can do a lot to refine your Google search results. You can find common special characters here and a good list of search operators like the ones above here. See also Google Search Basics and More Search help at Google.