How to Use Google 101

Efficient ways of navigating through the search engine.

Image: Google Search. Source:

Google has a powerful algorithm that matches content most relevant to your search syntax. Navigating through the abundance of information on the internet can be hard, here are a few tips to help you narrow down your search and work more efficiently.

1. How would you search for an exact word or phrase?

In order to search for a phrase or quote, use quotation marks around the excerpt. Google’s algorithm will provide relevant content that contains the specific syntax inputted into the search engine. Ex. “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas.”

2. How would you search for something on a specific site?

To search for a particular item or information on a specific site, type in site: followed by the website address and your keywords. It should look something like this site: iPhone 12.

3. How would you correctly search for a definition?

To correctly search for a definition, type define in front of the specific term. Google’s algorithm will highlight the most relevant content related to your search, and will provide you the proper definition based on Oxford Languages. For instance, type in define spicy.

4. How would you search for a specific product available within a specific price range?

Google has an advanced search command that allows you to specify the price of the product you’re looking for. You just type in the product along with the currency and price, such as hair straightener $30. If you’re trying to find an item within a specific price range, put two periods (..) between the prices, such as hair straightener $30..$50.

5. How would you search for a specific filetype?

By typing filetype: into the search engine, the algorithm limits the results by providing content that you’re looking for. Your search syntax may look like filetype: pdf gala apples. Here’s a list of the most common file types that Google can index.

6. How would you include or ignore words in your search?

The only words that you should type into the search engine are key terms. You want to avoid writing full sentences as it doesn’t have to be grammatically correct. Avoid stop words such as “and,” “or,” “the,” “where,” “how,” “what,” “a” and etc. For instance, you’re looking to buy a table lamp from Ikea. Try simplifying it to Ikea table lamp.

In order to include a specific word in your search, use quotation marks such as “black death” 1347. To ignore a word, use a negative sign in front of the word like black death -1347.

7. How would you find sites/pages similar to an existing one?

To find websites similar to an existing one, type in related: followed by the full website address. For instance, typing in related: will allow other news and entertainment websites with similar content to appear.

8. How would you confirm the exact form of a quote even if you were missing some of the words?

To find a specific quote even if you’re missing some of the words, use an asterisk (*) as a replacement and the algorithm will search for all the variations. This could look like blood is thicker than *.

9. How would you search for pages containing two connected words?

To search for pages with two connecting words, type in around(x) in between. The x represents the amount of words in between the select two connected words. For example, this could be: apple around(1) iPhone, apple around (5) iPhone, or etc.

10. How would you search for social media content containing a specific tag?

To search for social media content with a specific tag, add the keywords along with a hashtag (#) into the search bar.

Include the particular social media platform such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or etc. Your search syntax may look like Twitter #gamingxbox and Google will provide multiple relevant links in the appropriate order.