Nowadays we rarely type in a URL into the address bar of our browsers. More often than not we just type in the name of the site or simply what we are looking for into the address bar. Doing this kicks off a Google search for what you are looking for and most of the time you do find exactly what you are looking for. For those times when you just can’t seem to get the correct Google search results, here are several tips to help improve your Google searches. Depending on what you are looking for there are several different characters and strings (words) you can add to your search to pinpoint your results.
By typing “Site:” into the search bar, Google will search just that particular website. For example, if you search “Site:boston.com Patriots”, Google will search the website www.boston.com for anything about the Patriots.
Entering in a ~ (tilde) character will search words that are related to the word proceeding the tilde. For example if you search “~chairs”, your results will contain things like chairs, stools, seats, benches, etc.
Entering in “___” (quotes) will search for that specific phrase instead of searching each word separately. For example searching for “ring tones” will not return results where the word ring is immediately followed by the word tones.
Entering in a - (minus) character will omit the proceeding word from your search result. For example, if you search for pie recipes -blueberry, your search query will contain all kinds of pies recipes except for blueberry.
Entering in “..” (two periods) in between two dates will search for items of relevance in between those two dates. For example searching for “great books 1900..1950”, will populate results of great books written between 1900 and 1950.
Using all or multiple of these techniques in a search can yield very accurate search results saving you lots of time. For example, if you are searching for Boston Globe articles about test scores in college, but not the SATs, written between 2011 and 2013, you can enter the search, “site:bostonglobe.com ~college “test scores” –SAT 2011..2013”. By using all methods aforementioned you will find exactly what you are looking for.