How to Use Google Search Correctly?

Google has been the most popular web search engine for years and we all use it daily, but a number of people don’t know how to use it effectively. There are numerous shortcuts and ways you can narrow or broaden your search topic and get the wanted results easier. If you are a translator, you must know how important it is to properly search the Internet, as we already mentioned in our article 7 Tips to Become a Better Translator. We have prepared some advice to help you use this popular search engine.

  • Social media

Use @ to search social media such as Twitter. For example, to find information about Donald Trump, google @DonaldTrump. Among the top results of the search you will find his profiles on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.

  • Exclude the word you do not want to search

If you type „-“ without the quotation marks in front of the word you do not want to include in your search results, the websites with that word will not be shown. It is a very useful trick for searching the words that may have more meanings. For example, if we want to know something about the brand Puma and we do not want to include the results regarding animals, we can enter: puma -animal. All the search results will be related to clothing. It is important to mention that there should be no spaces between the minus sign and the word you want to exclude.

  • Search for an exact phrase

If we want to find a phrase consisting of more words, we can use quotation marks. That way, our search results will only include the websites that have the words in quotation marks written in that exact order. Using quotation marks is almost always extremely useful when searching for a phrase with more words. To find the smallest animal in the world, we could simply enter „the smallest animal in the world“ and the answer will be among the first results.

  • Searching with a wildcard

If we do not know one of the words or simply want to use a wildcard which can replace any word, we can use an asterisk (*). The last advice mentioned quotation marks and an asterisk can often be combined with them. For example, instead of „the smallest animal in the world“, you can enter „the smallest * in the world“. In that case, you will get a lot of results, from the smallest building, state and cat to the smallest book in the world.

google

  • Combining searches

For searching more words at the same time, you can use „OR“ without quotation marks. This option is useful for saving time if you have to search for more things at once. The simplest way to check if it works is to google: bicycle OR refrigerator. The search results will be related to either bicycles or refrigerators.

  • Use Google as a calculator

Google has a built-in calculator which is very easy to use. All it takes is to enter the numbers and arithmetic operations. The calculator is smart and it knows the correct order of operations so you do not have to worry you will get the wrong result. If you need to calculate something quickly, just enter, for example: 135 + 25 * 2. For less than one second, the calculator will appear and you will have your result – 185.

  • Searching within a specific website

For information from a specific website, the option „site:“ is very useful. All we have to do is enter the website we want to search after „site:“ and the words we want to search. For example, we have read an article about Luka Modrić on www.index.hr and now we want to find it. We could simply enter: site:www.index.hr Luka Modrić. The search engine will show only the results leading to www.index.hr which include the words „Luka“ and „Modrić“.

  • Atari Breakout

Last but not least, we decided to share one option you can try when you have nothing better to do. If you enter „Atari Breakout“ without quotation marks and choose to search images, the popular game Breakout will appear. Do not, however, try it at work!

These are some of the most common options to make searching easier although there are a lot more of them. Of course, all the options mentioned can be combined to make the results even more precise. In times when most of the people in the world uses the Internet, it is important to use it correctly. This is one of the first steps to learning and it can help you with work, studying or when you are just bored.

Josip Kovačević

Josip Kovačević has an MA in English Language and Literature and Philosophy. He has been in the translation business since graduation. In his spare time, Josip likes playing guitar and video games, cycling, travelling and going to concerts.

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