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Google Searching: Search Tips

A guide to Google search techniques

Search Tips from Google

Tips for searching like a pro

Don't see what you're looking for in your search results? Here are some basic tips and tricks to help you find just what you want every time.

Keep it simple! Start by typing the name of a thing, place, or concept that you're looking for.
    puppy training tips
    london dinner cruise
    pasta recipe


Add relevant words if you don't see what you want after doing a simple search.
    First try: puppy
    More precise: puppy training
    Even more precise: dalmatian puppy training class

Don't worry if it takes several attempts to find the right words to describe your search.


Try words that a website would use to describe what you're looking for.
    Not ideal: my head hurts
    Not ideal: why is my head killing me
    Better: headache

Why? Google matches the words in your search to the words appearing in pages on the Internet. "Headache" is the term that informative webpages are likely to use, so using that term will help you reach the type of information you want.


Use only the important words rather than a full sentence or question.

    Not ideal: country where bats are an omen of good luck
    Better: bats good luck

Why? Generally, all of the words that you include in your search will be used to find matching content. Too many words will limit your results.


Let Google do the work! Certain types of searches will show you special information directly below the search box.
    Weather: weather edinburgh
    Calculations: 45 x .88



Sometimes Google search will act differently than what's described above if doing so could improve your search. Here are a few of these cases:

  • Common words like "the," "a," and "for," are usually ignored, but might not be if they're integral to your search phrase. For example, the word "the" differentiates a search for the who (likely referring to the band) and who (likely referring to the World Health Organization).
  • A webpage could appear in your results even if it doesn't contain all of the words from your search. For example, the query overhead view of the bellagio pool will give you nice overhead pictures from webpages that do not include the word "overhead."
  • Synonyms might replace some words in your original query, but you can put a word or phrase in quotes to prevent this from happening.
  • Generally, most punctuation and special characters are ignored, however there is a growing list of punctuation and symbols that are recognized in searches


Google. "Basic search help."

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