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Google search strategies

Google search operators

I believe we all agree that Google is a powerful search engine and many of us use it several times a day. However, apart from just typing several words in the search box, do you know there are more efficient ways to look for what you need?

  • Phrase search ("…") 
    Use the double quotes to find the exact phase.

Example: “angels and demons”


  • Search within a specific website (site :)
    If you are looking for something in a specific website that doesn’t provide search function itself, you can use the “site:” modifier.

Example: (no space between “site:” and the URL)


Dalai Lama


  • Terms you want to exclude (-)
    Use the “-“ symbol in front of a word that you do not want to be included in your results.

Example: Marketing –advertising


  • Fill in the blanks (*) 
    Use * in your search, you are telling Google to treat the star (wildcard) as a placeholder for any unknown term(s).

Example: Obama voted * on the * bill

You will find stories about different votes on different bills.


  • Similar terms (~)

Use the "~" symbol in front of a search word, Google will automatically search similar terms or synonyms of that word

Example: ~snake

You will find “snake”, “python”, “cobra” and “reptile”…etc. in your results.

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