There are over one billion websites on the internet, and finding the ones you want can be frustrating and intimidating. Some search engine tips can make you a Google search expert in no time.
Do Not Be Too Specific or Too General
If you enter too few or too many search terms, Google cannot point you towards the results that you are looking for. Services like Firestarter SEO Denver work to ensure that you see relevant sites first when you search for certain words, so learning to search for the right terms is important.
For example, if you want to know roughly when velociraptors walked the earth, you would not simply search for “raptors.” This will lead you towards sports teams called the “Raptors.” If you tried to guess the answer to your query and entered something too specific, such as “velociraptors Jurassic period,” you would receive a list of sites about the movie “Jurassic park.” The best option would be to search for a phrase like “velociraptors time period.” Note that capitalization does not actually matter when using Google Search.
Use Code Words and Symbols
Usually, Google Search does not pay attention to punctuation marks. However, there are a few that will indicate to Google exactly what you want to see. Placing a word or phrase in quotation marks will narrow your results to pages that only contain that word or phrase. You can eliminate a word from your results by putting a minus sign in front of it, as in “velociraptor -Jurassic.” If you want to search for two different words or phrases at once, you can put “OR” in between the two phrases. You can search within a particular site by putting “site:” and then the address of the site’s homepage in front of your search term(s).
Try Using a Wildcard Search
If you put asterisks around part of a phrase, you can perform a wildcard search. This kind of search is handy if you only know part of the phrase you are looking for. This search may sound complicated at first but you will master it quickly with some practice. Here is an example: you know the month or year of an event but you do not know the exact date. You can guess the date and put asterisks around it, and Google will show you the right date. If you search for “Nineteenth Amendment U.S. August *1* 1920,” Google will show you that the Nineteenth Amendment went into effect on August 18, 1920.