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21 Ways to Improve Your Google Search Results

21 Ways to Improve Your Google Search ResultsWouldn't it be nice if Google could just read our minds? I mean, granted, that would be a little disturbing, but it would at least give you the exact results you were looking for.

While Google is very good at what it does, sometimes finding exactly what you need takes a little extra work.

Luckily, Google search has a bunch of built in tricks that you can use to really hone in on what you're looking for - provided you know what they are, of course.

A recently released infographic from Hubspot compiled a fantastic list of Google search operations that we know you will find useful. Here are 21 ways you can improve your Google search results.

  1. "search" (ex. "Luke, I am your father") - If you're looking for an exact phrase, use quotation marks around your search phrase.
  2. -search (ex. inception -movie) - Add a hyphen (-) before a word to exclude a search term. If a word has several meanings, this may be particularly helpful.
  3. site: (ex. cheesecake site:www.pepperplate.com) - Search a specific term or phrase within a specific website domain. First write your search term, then "site:" followed by the website you want to search.  We love this one at Geek| Chicago!
  4. related: (ex. related:buzzfeed.com) - Find sites with similar content to a URL you already know.
  5. allintext: (ex. allintext:Chicago free events) - Find pages where all the terms appear in the text.
  6. intext: (ex. martin luther king junior intext:mountaintop) - Find pages where the one term appears in the text, and other terms appear elsewhere in the document (like a title or URL).
  7. allintitle: (ex. allintitle:Oscars 2014) - Find pages whose title contains all words in the search.
  8. intitle: (ex. flu shot intitle:help) - Find pages whose title contains a particular word in the title, with other terms appearing elsewhere in the document (like in the text or URL)
  9. allinurl:(ex. allinurl: cnn sports) - Find pages with the search term in the URL.
  10. location: (ex. barack obama location:london) - Use this on Google News to find stories coming from a particular location.
  11. filetype:suffix (ex. home sales 2014 filetype:pdf) - Restrict your Google search results to a specific suffix/file type.
  12. .. (ex. $100..$200) - Separate numbers by two periods to see results that contain numbers in the given range.
  13. * (ex. there is a * that never goes *) - An asterisk works as a wildcard, and helps you find the missing word in a phrase.
  14. OR (ex. olympics 2012 OR 2016) - Find pages with one of several words by using a capitalized OR. Without OR, results would show pages that include all of the terms.
  15. + - Google recognizes this when searching for blood type.
  16. @ - Google recognizes this when searching for social tags.
  17. & - Google recognizes this when searching for strongly connected ideas and phrases.
  18. % - Google recognizes this when searching for percent values.
  19. $ - Google recognizes this when searching for prices.
  20. # - Google recognizes this when searching for trending topics that use hashtags.
  21. - - Google recognizes this when searching for words that are strongly connected.

Be sure and check out the original Hubspot infographic for more fun tips!  And don't forget to book mark this page! (ctrl-B or cmd-B)

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).