Using Google’s Advanced Search Operators

You can always visit Google and click the Advanced Search link to customize your search, but the Advanced Search page can be a little bulky when you’re trying to find something in a hurry. Instead of doing that, consider typing search operators in the search box to customize your search:

  • Google omits some common words from searches, such as “I” and “and.” To force Google to include a word in a search, type a plus sign right before the word you want included: for example, +who am i
  • You can broaden your search to have Google search for items with the words you typed and also for items that contain synonyms of the words you typed by typing a tilde before each word: for example, ~dog ~training will also turn up pages for canine education… theoretically, anyway.
  • Google typically narrows your search by displaying links for only those pages that have all the words you typed. To broaden the search, so Google displays pages that contain any of the words you typed, use the “or” operator: for example, pizza or spaghetti or nachos.
  • You’ve probably visited sites that allow you to search the site. If a particular site does not offer a specific search tool, you can use Google to search the site. Simply type the word or phrase you’re looking for followed by “site:” followed by the site’s URL. For example:
    carrier pigeons site:petcaretips.net.
  • You can search for a range of numbers by typing two periods between the numbers that define the lower and upper limits of the range. For example: HDTV set $750..$1500 (when searching for a range, always include the unit of measure, such as $, pounds, miles, or gallons)
  • Search for an exact phrase by enclosing it in quotation marks. For example, “how to jump start a car”

If you have additional tips on how to use Google’s search operators, feel free to share them with other ComputerChimp.com visitors.

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Joe Kraynak
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Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Computer Basics.

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