The last time you searched on Google, did you type a word into the search box and hit Enter? Did the search results give you exactly what you were searching for? If not, did you use Google’s search tools to refine your results?
If not, don’t worry. By using Google’s search tools you can become much more effective at getting the search results you want. Many people ignore these search tools but they really are powerful and useful to get you exactly what you’re looking for.
By spending a few minutes learning about Google Search tools, you can become a Google Search Master!
Using Google Search Effectively
To get started, go to google.com and enter a search term. Google searches over 30 trillion individual search pages to deliver results to you, usually within a fraction of a second. But you may not need Google to search the entire web to get you the results you want.
You can refine your search on the results page to restrict the search to relevant categories. In the menu at the top of the page, you can select whether you want to see websites, images, maps, shopping, books and more.
Click on “More” to see other options for your search results, including News, Videos, Blogs, Flights and other categories. If you don’t want results from the entire World Wide Web, no need to sift through them. Target your results to make your searches more efficient.
Shopping on Google Search
Google’s Shopping search page can help you find the item you’re looking for, compare prices and see availability locally and online. Enter your search term, then click “Shopping” at the top of the page. The results page also shows you images so you can make sure you’re seeing the results you want.
The left column helps you refine your search by price range, color, stores, categories and other factors to help you make your buying decision.
Looking for that perfect recipe for your special occasion? Search Google and click on Recipes in the top menu. See a list of sites with recipes, along with the ratings, images, ingredients and more.
On the right side of Google’s search menu is Search Tools. Click on that to see your options to refine your results further. If you’re looking for results in a certain time period or locality, Search Tools can make sure you get the proper results.
For example, in Recipes, Search Tools let you search by ingredients, cooking time, and calories.
You can also use Search Tools to sort your results by date and relevance.
Google Advanced Search
If you haven’t been able to refine your search sufficiently, head to Google Advanced Search to see even more search parameters. You can search for results that are within a certain range, in a specific language, in a certain format, are free to use commercially, or with other search parameters.
Want to know which areas are searching the most and in which languages? Check out Google Search Globe.
Make searching easier by familiarizing yourself with Google Search shortcuts. No need to type long phrases such as, “what is the weather in [my hometown]?” Instead, type, “weather” to see the weather forecast where you are.
Type “movie” to get movie listings in your area. Type the ticker symbol of a company to see stock price and other information about a company.
Enter the tracking number of a package in the search box to see the status of your shipment.
You can search sports scores and schedules, time zones, phone numbers, word definitions and more by using shortcuts. Check out a cheat sheet from About.com with a long list of Google search shortcuts.
Conversions and Translations
Convert units easily using shortcuts. Need to know how many kilometers 5000 miles is? Type “5000 miles kilometers” to see the results instantly.
If you need a word or phrase translated into another language, type, “[search term] translate [language]”.
Speak Your Search Terms
Click on the microphone on the right side of the search bar and speak the word(s) you want to search.
Do you make the most of Google search? Have use ever used search tools to refine your search results? Have you ever discovered results you wouldn’t have discovered without using Google’s search tools? Let us know your experience with Google search tools in the Comments section below!