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Google Search Operators

1. Force keywords

Some times, not all words mentioned in the Google search bar come up in the search results. This is especially true for searches with many keywords. It suffices to say that it’s Google’s way of giving you the most relevant results. To force a certain keyword or phrase to be included in the search,

Try to use “+”(plus) sign. For example, Typing in “Hell Bound Blogger Pradeep”(w/out quotes) will bring some results without one or more of those words. If you need the word “blogger” (which is a common word and hence Google may leave it out) type “hellbound+blogger pradeep”.

2. Either/or.

Google normally searches for pages that contain all the words you type in the search box, but if you want pages that have one term or another (or both), use the OR operator or use the “|” symbol (pipe symbol) to save you a keystroke. [dumb | little | man]

3. Quotes.

If you want to search for an exact phrase, use quotes. [“dumb little man”] will only find that exact phrase. [dumb “little man”] will find pages that contain the word dumb and the exact phrase “little man”.

4. Not.

If you don’t want a term or phrase, use the “-” symbol. [-dumb little man] will return pages that contain “little” and “man” but that don’t contain “dumb”.

5. Similar terms (Synonym Search).

Use the “~” symbol to return similar terms. [~dumb little man -dumb] will get you pages that contain “funny little man” and “stupid little man” but not “dumb little man”.

6. Wildcard.

The “*” symbol is a wildcard. This is useful if you’re trying to find the lyrics to a song, but can’t remember the exact lyrics. [Can’t * me love lyrics] will return the Beatles song you’re looking for.

7. File types.

Use “filetype: Searchstring” before you search query. For Example “filetype:pdf” will fetch you only PDFs. “filetype:pdf Five Point someone” will fetch you all PDFs related with Fivepoint Someone novel. You can use this for any file types including ppt,doc,xls or anything you want.

8. Advanced search.

If you can’t remember any of these operators, you can always use Google’s advanced search. Google has an excellent advanced search facility to help refine your searching. Rather than replicate this here, a PDF document can be downloaded at [www.google.com/searchguide.html]. Click on Advanced Search Tips in advanced Search Screen for more tips.

9. Cached pages (Find lost pages).

Simply click on the cache link (at the bottom of each search result), and that will retrieve the last saved version of the page that had failed to show some times. This is a powerful, extremely helpful tool when you come across old pages from Web sites that no longer exist or are no longer maintained. These are stored in Google Servers. If some websites takes longer time to load we can open the content through Cache option.

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10. Excluding Unwanted Results.

The “-” (minus) sign is used to exclude certain words from your search. If you want to search information about 3.0 SoapUI Version Details, you’ll probably get a lot of results about all the soapUI Software versions. Instead of “3.0 soapUI” try “3.0. soapUI -2.5 -2.0 -1.7 -1.6”.

11. Calculator.

One of the handiest uses of Google, type in a quick calculation in the search box and get an answer. It’s faster than calling up your computer’s calculator in most cases. Use the +, -, *, / symbols and parentheses to do a simple equation.

12. Numrange.

This little-known feature searches for a range of numbers. For example, [“best books 2002..2007”] will return lists of best books for each of the years from 2002 to 2007 (note the two periods between the two numbers).

13. Unit converter.

Use Google for a quick conversion, from yards to meters for example, or different currency: [12 meters in yards]

14. Definitions

Use the “define:” operator to get a quick definition. [define:dumb] will give you a whole host of definitions from different sources, with links.

15. Putting Document titles to use

“allintitle”searches for pages that have all your search words in the title of the web page. So if you want sites that have “microsoft” and “knowledge” in the title type in “allintitle:(space) microsoft knowledge”….or even try “allintitle: fun net”..[Without quotes]

16. Searching by URLs

You can also search for terms that occur in the URLs of documents. For example, if you want to find the word “mac” in the sites that have “apple” in the URL, where “mac” may or may not be in the URL, use this “inurl:applemac”…the word apple will then be in the URL. Note that there should be no space between “inurl” and “apple”.

There are many more, so start googling smartly and use it to Max πŸ™‚

This guest article is written by Malini Mohankumar. She has over 10 years of experience in IT of which development, testing and project management. Major profession is Software testing and project management utilizing mainly Microsoft’s technologies. If you wish to write a similar guest article, you can check our guidelines regarding it.



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CEO and Founder of Slashsquare, Indian Blog Network and Web Consulting Media. HBB is a part of Slashsquare Network. I'm a Tech Blogger, Striving Entrepreneur, Atheist, and Proud Indian. Catch me on Facebook and Twitter.

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