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8 Tips on Refining your Google Search Skills

Google search

Did you know that the art of the Google search is becoming a rare skill?  So, how do you find the best information on Google? We’re here to provide some tips on refining your Google search skills.

Use the tabs

This will refine your search immediately.  For example if you are looking for news items on “London Mayor”,  use the “news” tab and you can pick up the latest news stories.  The same for images, using the “image” tab.  For each tab (news, images etc.) you can then use “search tools” tab where you can apply other filters applicable to the type of search.

Quotation marks

For specific searches, and to eliminate Google’s guess work, put quotation marks around your search term for example  “flower design tshirts” and it will come up with exact matches i.e. only pages with the same words in the same order as those in the quote marks.


Using the hyphen allows you to exclude words from your search.  If you are struggling to find information about Richmond near London because you keep getting information about Richmond in Virginia (USA) then this could be the search term for you.

  • Richmond –Virginia


This function allows you to search on a specific website.  For example:

  • Social Media:www.reddesk.co.uk

This will then bring up the search term “social media” on all pages on the Red Desk website

Asterisk Wildcard

Can’t remember all of a famous quote or lyrics to a song? The asterisk wildcard will help you literally to fill in the blanks.  If you can’t remember how Neil Armstrong’s quote goes, take a look:s quote goes, take a look:
ng’ou fill i cs to a song? the If you are struggling to find information about Richmond near London b

  • “One * step * mankind”

You’ll then find out the complete quote


This search tip is perfect if you are trying to research competitors in your market.  For example

  • Related:borrowmydoggy.com

You’ll then find there are websites out there called “Walk my dog” and “Rent a pet”.  You can then make an informed decision on whether it worth launching a rival pet borrowing service website or not!

Multiple search phrases

If you are trying to find out where you might be drinking your next sunny pint in London, you might consider using the following search term:

  • “The best pubs in London” OR “pubs with gardens London”

This will show up these exact phrases in the search.  It can however be used in a more generic way

  • Craft beers OR real ale

This search will show websites with craft beers or real ale

Simplicity is the key

You don’t always have to put in a specific location when looking for a petrol station.  You can just type in:

  • Petrol stations nearby

Google is clever, knows your location and will throw up results based on your location

We do hope these tips have been of use.  For other tips such as Google shortcuts or tracking a package, please look at this useful article by Lifehack.org.  For more technical search terms, check out this Infographic by Mashable.com.

Mel Pretorius
About Mel Pretorius (40 Articles)
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