24 Google Tips for Better Searching (and the Answer to Life the Universe and Everything)

5 minute read

About a year ago I post my original 14 Google tips. That proved to be really popular – and since a year has passed by I thought it was time for an update. The fabulous thing about Google is that somewhere, somehow, you can find out pretty much most things. Sometimes, you get the answer you need directly in the search results; often Google will point you to Wikipedia, show the latest tweets from Twitter, or direct you to a company’s website. However, the richness of Google sometimes makes it hard to find what you need without scrolling through many, many pages – and even then you can end up with irrelevant results.

Over the years, I learned a few tips that reduce the number of search results, and I’ve learned a few more in the last year.

  • Use quotation marks for exact phrases. Searching for “The TAS Group”, with the quotation marks, is much more efficient that just searching for The TAS Group, and return far fewer spurious results.
  • Use ‘OR’ to include more than one search item: Searching for ipod OR mp3 player gives results that contain either ipod or mp3 player.
  • Placing a ‘-‘ in front of a term excludes that word. TAS -Group will give answers that include TAS, but not Group, so none of the results will have the word Group in them.
  • Use ‘~’ for synonyms. Searching for ~sales gives you results that contain sales alongside store, retail, etc.
  • Find items related to a URL: Search related: www.dealmakergenius.com, and your results will include information on The TAS Group, Sales 2.0 Network and other related items.
  • Search for sites that link to one another. If you search link: www.sales20network.com, you will find a list of all the sites that link to this blog. (There are quiet a few!)
  • Look inside a site. Searching for site:thetasgroup.com sales will find every reference to “sales on www.thetasgroup.com, or links on other sites that connect to a page on www.thetasgroup.com that contains the term “sales.”
  • Put … between numbers searches for numbers in that range. Searching for ROI 10…30 will generates a list of results that contain ROI and numbers in the range between 10 and 30.
  • Not case sensitive: Google search is not case sensitive, so searching on tas returns the sames results as TAS.
  • Get definitions: Using define: sale, will give you definitions of sale from many sources.
  • Get time: Using time: Dublin, Ireland, will quickly figure out time zones, and tell you what time it is now in Dublin, Ireland (alway happy time).
  • Check out the weather: Using weather: Seattle, WA, will give you the weather forecast for Seattle, WA (always wet).
  • Get exchange rates: Entering 150 euros to dollars will (today) return 213.67 U.S. dollars. (It was $205 last time!)
  • Find phone area codes: You can check out the location of an area code: Just type in 425, and you will find out that “Area code 425 is a telephone dialing code in Washington for the suburbs north and east of Seattle, particularly the Eastside.”
  • And Zip Codes: Get all of the info you need about a particular zip code. If you enter 98033, you will find out everything you wanted to know about Kirkland, Washington.
  • Quick URL info: You can get info on dealmakergenius.com, by searching on info: dealmakergenius.com. It will include a short description, links to its cache, similar pages, and sites that link to that URL.
  • Wildcard: When you’re not sure the exact phrase you are looking for you can use a wildcard (*). Searching for 13 * pipeline management, will find the post I did called The 13 Truths of Pipeline Management.
  • Use Google as a calculator: You can use Google to evaluate many math expressions. Search for 365*24*60*60 and will Google tell you the number of seconds in a day (31536000).
  • Search LinkedIn: I’ve always found the search capability of LinkedIn to be somewhat lacking, but Google can help. Search for donal daly TAS site:linkedin.com, and it will take you directly to my profile on LinkedIn – only if that’s what you want of course 🙂
  • And Twitter: sales20network site:twitter.com finds the Twitter account for this blog. (Please follow for updates) You could go to Twitter, but this is much faster.
  • Flight Status: I can tell that right now there are some people sitting in Dublin airport waiting for the delayed JFK flight. I just entered AER LINGUS 105 into the Google search box, and I learned the flight is delayed.
  • Define/Spell a word: Use Define: blog, and Google will provide you with definition for a blog. Misspell or mistype, e.g. confusoin, and Google will ask did you mean confusion?
  • Get Certain File Types: If you want to find a PDF brochure on Dealmaker from the TAS Group, use TAS Dealmaker: PDF, and Google wil provide you with a list. Replace PDF with PPT, or DOC etc.
  • The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything: Search for Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything and yes, Sergey and Larry will give you the answer. (Hint: 6 x 7)

Google search is really powerful. I hope these tips will make it more efficient for you.

And then there is Google+: With Google+ grabbing all of the headlines in recent weeks, you might be forgiven for thinking that Facebook and Twitter are dead – not so. There are however already tips and tricks for using Google+. Click here.

I hope these help.

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