Improving your Google-fu

Search engines can be a great way of finding what you’re searching for. Using them to their fullest extrent, however, requires a bit of knowledge about how to structure your searches. These examples are some that I use on a regular basis:

  • Quotation marks searches for everything between them
    • “James Brown” returns results matching James Brown, but not those that do not include either James or Brown
  • Dashes exclude a term from the search results
    • Music -Classical returns results for music, except classical music
  • Tildes searches for synonyms
    • Programming ~lessons returns results for programming lessons, but also classes, coaching etc.
  • Site: is used to search within a specific site
    • NATO returns results including the word NATO from the site
  • Two periods searches between number ranges
    • Metallica 1997..2007 searches for Metallica and numbers in the range of 1997-2007
  • Filetype: returns results of a give file type
    • Policy filetype:pdf returns results that are PDFs

Do you have any other tricks? Share them in the comment section!

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