13 Ways to Use Google Search like a Pro

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We’ve been told time and time again to “Google it” and let’s face it with the fast paced society we live in we use the search engine several times a day. But, chances are that you are probably still using Google search in its most basic form. Guess what! Below are 8 super simple tips for you to implement. We suggest that you bookmark this post of Google search tips, so you’ll then have the tips on hand!

  1. Explicit Phrase:
    Let’s say you are looking for content about social media marketing.  Instead of just typing social media marketing into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase.  To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes.

Example: “social media marketing”

  1. Exclude Words:
    You’re searching for content about strategy, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term mobile.  To do this, simply use the “-” sign in front of the word you want to exclude.

Example Search: strategy -mobile

  1. Site Specific Search:
    Often, you want to search a specific website for content that matches a certain phrase.  Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the “site: somesite.com” modifier.

Example: “social media training” site: http://www.sociallyahead.com

  1. Similar Words and Synonyms:
    Let’s say you want to include a word in your search, but want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms.  To do this, use the “~” in front of the word.

Example: “social media” ~professional

  1. Specific Document Types:
    If you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier “filetype:” For example, you might want to find only PowerPoint presentations related to internet marketing.

Example: “social media” filetype: ppt

  1. This OR That:
    By default, when you do a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search.  If you are looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator.  (Note: The OR has to be capitalized).

Example: social media marketing OR online advertising

  1. Phone Listing:
    Let’s say someone calls you on your mobile number and you don’t know who it is.  If all you have is a phone number, you can look it up on Google using the phonebook feature.

Example: phonebook: 202-656-0949 (note: the provided number is the number to Socially Ahead’s office, you can use any number you like for your search).

  1. Area Code Lookup:
    Strange incoming number to your phone? No need to fear,just enter the 3-digit area code and Google will tell you where it’s from.

Example: 202

  1. Numeric Ranges:
    This is a rarely used, but highly useful tip.  Let’s say you want to find results that contain any of a range of numbers.  You can do this by using the X…Y modifier (in case this is hard to read, what’s between the X and Y are two periods.)  This type of search is useful for years (as shown below), prices, or anywhere where you want to provide a series of numbers.

Example: British Prime Minister 1930…1990

  1. Stock (Ticker Symbol):
    Just enter a valid ticker symbol as your search term and Google will give you the current financials and a quick thumb-nail chart for the stock.

Example: GOOG

  1. Calculator:
    The next time you need to do a quick calculation, instead of bringing up the Calculator applet, you can just type your expression in to Google.

Example: 7821 * 7.50

  1. Word Definitions:
    If you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the “define:” command.

Example: define: socially

  13.  Currency Converter

If you are traveling or doing business in another country, you can easily look up the   exchange  rate by entering your nations currency and putting a ? with the other country’s currency abbreviation .

Example: 1 USD = ? PKR

Hope this list of Google search tips proves useful in your future Google searches.  If there are any of your favorite Google expert power tips that we’ve missed, please feel free to share them below in the comments.

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Socially Ahead, a strategic communications agency specializing in the creation of social /digital media strategies, online communications, training, staffing and web content production with offices in Washington, DC and New Jersey.  Socially Ahead focuses on helping brands and individuals navigate social media and online space to build better connections.

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