If you are an avid “Googler” aka someone that uses Google as your main search engine, there are a couple of shortcuts and commands that you can use to narrow your search results. Why is this useful?
Well, one command lets you search within a particular website, helping you to find specific content quickly and easily. Although elementary in nature, and already widely used, the following commands should prove to be beneficial for anyone who has yet to discover their convenience. Not feeling lucky? Check out some easy ways to narrow a search.
Find all pages for a specific website
The first shortcut involves finding all Google indexed pages for a specific website. To get started, head on over to the Google homepage. Also, make sure that you know the exact base URL of the website you want to check. For the example, we will use Online-Tech-Tips which has a base URL of online-tech-tips.com. Type the following into the Google search box.
Search for a keyword within a specific website
This shortcut is basically like the one mentioned previously, with the exception that we will now search within a specific website for pages only relating to a certain keyword or search term. Here’s an example, which will search Online-Tech-Tips.com for the keyword “Microsoft.”
site:whateverwebsiteyouwant.com keyword here
example… site:online-tech-tips.com Microsoft
Notice that this shortcut is extremely easy to use. Simply leave a space after the URL, and type your keyword.
Search for an exact phrase
Upon using Google to search for a specific phrase, you may have noticed that Google does not always return the most relevant results, or the search results that you were looking for. An example of this would be:
If you searched Google for Online-Tech-Tips rules! and Google returned several search results similar to:
The Online community for Tech Tips has just posted some new rules.
Notice how Google did search the web for your keywords. However, it did not search for the exact phrase. If you want to search for an exact phrase, simply put it in quotes. Here’s an example.
“Online-Tech-Tips Rules!” (with quotes) will only return results that include the exact phrase “Online-Tech-Tips Rules!”
Excluding a term from a search
Although not as commonly used, Google does offer a feature that allows you to exclude a specific word from a search. This can be done by using the – key on your keyboard.
Excluding a term is very easy to do, but is a bit more complex than the other search commands we have covered thus far. This is because the exclude a term feature will either use the – key as a minus sign (meaning to exclude), or a hyphen (meaning don’t exclude). Review the below example for a better explanation.
Searching for Online-Tech-Tips will return all webpages indexed in Google that relate to the search term, Online-Tech-Tips.
Using the search term Online-Tech –Tips will return all webpages indexed in Google that relate to Online-Tech, but will exclude any listings that feature the excluded word, Tips.
Notice the space between the first and second example, which cleanly demonstrates how to use the exclude search feature.
Fill in the blanks feature
The fill in the blanks feature is a lesser known Google search command that allows you to use Google’s AI to guess words. Check out the below examples for a demonstration on how the fill in the blanks feature may be able to help you out on your next homework assignment.
Example: Anytime you want, you can use the * character to activate Google’s fill in the blanks feature.
Suppose you get a biology assignment that has a lot of fill in the blank questions. For example:
_____ is widely considered to be the _____ of modern biology.
* is widely considered to be the * of modern biology would be a good search term to use for this question, which would take advantage of Google’s fill in the blanks feature.
The advanced search
Well, the search may not be extremely advanced, but by adding a + symbol before your search terms, you can make Google tighten up its search standards and draw more specific results, relating to your query. Here’s an example…
+ online tech tips mac
This feature works much like the “” feature.
The capital OR
A lowercase or will not do anything special to a Google search. However, a capital OR will activate Google’s OR search feature, allowing you to search for multiple keywords. Here’s an example…
You want to know more about the Eiffel Tower’s construction.
Your search term, with the OR modifier is: Eiffel Tower construction OR Eiffel Tower building
By using OR, Google will search for both Eiffel Tower construction and Eiffel Tower building simultaneously. From there, you will be presented with the most popular listings among both groups.