Is Google really a blogger’s best friend? A lot of us who use it day in day out will agree that it can be a life saver when it comes to doing research about topics, definitions, finding relevant images etc etc but people applying for Adsense might have a different point of view.
Let’s stick to the question with regards to how can we have the best user experience from Google. Here are 9 tricks I use to get better search results from Google: (scroll to the bottom for cheatsheet)
1. Site Search: This is not a shortcut I use very often but it is very helpful to find out the places my site has been mentioned or tagged on the World Wide Web. Place your blog/website name after Site. I would search “Site:toraveabout.com”. If the first search result is not the homepage address of your website (for me it should be http://toraveabout.com), then it has not been indexed by Google yet.
2. Time search – I attend webinars but sometimes it gets difficult to keep a track of what time it is in the hosting country. I missed a few webinars because I had no idea what time they started in my local time. So now I use time search on Google. Example “new york time now” for the current time in New York.
[city/country] time now
For multiple time zones within a country like the US, search “america time” it returns results from all Time Zones – MDT, MST, CDT, PDT, HST, AKDT
[country name] time
Translate [searchterm] into [language]
4. Image Search &imgtype=face – The bloggers who use images from the web raise your hands! This tip might be a time saver for you. How often have you struggled with finding a face image of Julia Roberts? You search in the Google image search all kinds of thing that have nothing to do with Julia Roberts will come up. So here’s a shortcut to finding close ups and face images of famous people.
&imgtype=face [searchterm – name of a person]
The results will still contain some images of other people but lost of them will also be face images. The results of images actually depend on the tags people have associated with an image. This is a time saver nevertheless. Of course it works only for famous people.
5. Internal Site Search – This is something so powerful, I regret not learning these tricks when I as getting started in blogging. If a site does not have an internal search and you can still search within that website or blog with a string like “photography site:toraveabout.com” This will return posts, images and pages tagged photography on my site.
6. Define – If you want the definition of a word, rather than opening dictionary/thesaurus just type “define: the word”. So if I do not know the definition of Pachyderm, I’d search “define: pachyderm”.
7. Asterisk * (the Wild Character)– Asterisk is used as a wild character. So if you want to search for a phrase that you only remember partially, use * to replace the forgotten words. You’ll get a lot of results trying to fill in that wild character. I’m hoping by then you’d recognize the right words from the results. A lot of times just typing a few keywords will bring up suggestions in Google Search box. So if you have forgotten what the whole phrase was in ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’ just search for ‘an apple a day *’.
[search string] *
[search string] * [search string]
* [search string]
8. Exclude a particular website – If you are searching for a camera but do not want to be bothered with results from ebay oramazon, simple search with the term “-site:ebay.com – site:amazon.com” so the search term would be “-site:ebay.com -site:amazon.com camera”
-site:[sitename] -site:[sitename] [search term]
9. ip Address – Gone are the days when we used command prompt to find our ip, now if we need to find out ip, simple search “What is my ip” an Google will display at the top! This is not something used a lot since we don’t really need to know our ip often but it is good to know.
What is my ip
Search Term cheatsheet
You can find this cheatsheet on my Pinterest account in the ‘Information” board as well.
I had been using a couple of these since 2004 but I have learnt the other tricks recently. This is by no means an exhaustive list of shortcuts available for Google search but just 9 simple tricks I use to optimize my search results in Google. I do not use Bing as much so I’m not sure if these work exactly the same in Bing Search Engine too.
I hope you found these tips helpful.
- How to search Google like a boss: cheat sheet (agbeat.com)
- Top 10 Obscure Google Search tips (lifehacker.com)