It’s a familiar frustration for most of us: You type your precise, specific search terms into Google, and expect to find what you need on the first page.
Instead, you’re faced with millions of search results, and the first few links are so off-the-wall unrelated you wonder if you mistyped something.
But your search terms are correct, so why doesn’t Google know what you’re looking for? And how are you supposed to narrow down the millions of irrelevant results?
Though Google keeps improving their algorithms, there are still plenty of terms that stymie the search engine. Without context, it’s hard for Google to know exactly what you’re looking for, especially if your inquiry is highly specific.
Luckily, Google has quite a few hidden tips and tricks for searching that will help you quickly find exactly the results you’re looking for.
Just by learning a few formatting and punctuation tricks, you can tell Google how your search terms are related, or exclude certain words or phrases. You can also narrow down your search with criteria like location or pricing, or use Google to search within a single website.
If you’re still not getting the results you need, Google has several other little-known features that can widen your search. Webmasters can easily find images for their websites and blogs withGoogle Images, and researchers need only visit Google Books or Google Scholar to search through print publications and research papers in any field.
Faster and more accurate searches aren’t the only benefit to becoming a Google power user. Google also has a few hidden functions you can unlock with the right search query, including calculations and conversions, stock quotes and sports scores, and film showings and flight statuses. With the right search, you can get immediate results telling you the current weather and today’s sunrise and sunset times, or quickly look up the definition of a word and get a translation into one of dozens of available languages.
With the time you save as a Google power user, you’ll even be able to fit in a game of Atari Breakout on Google Images. Just follow the steps below to find out how!