Power Searching with Google-what i learned

Those of you who read me, know i google more or less everything… so why not take some advice from the experts? And by experts i mean Google itself! ๐Ÿ˜€

I recently took a free on-line course offered by Google “Power Searching with Google”, taught by Mr Daniel M. Russell. The goal was for me to become a better searcher in 6 classes. In fact, for all of you who ย feel like it, the same course is offered again, you can check the announcement and sign up here!

Here are my take aways from the course…

*First things First*

How Google Search works, by Matt Cutts

google search spider

When you type something in google, you don’t actually search the web, you search google’s index of the web. That is done with certain software programs called “spiders”, who follow links around the web. So when you search google’s index pages for specific terms, google asks questions, lots of them! More than 200 questions in order to provide the best page results, in the best ranking, in half a second!

Here are a few of those questions:

  1. How many times this page contains your query key words?
  2. Are those words in the title?
  3. Are those words in the URL?
  4. Does the page include synonyms of that word?
  5. Is this page from a quality web site?

HeNce =>


1. Chose the right words for your query

– Word order matters! “bleu sky” and “sky blue” give different results!

– Google search is NOT case sensitive! Caps don’t make a difference…

– Special Characters: ? ! @ย are not visible for google, instead $ is.


2. Learn from Google

The knowledge graph-see it in action– The Knowledge Graph: It provides instant results, a few words about your query from Wikipedia. It appears for animals, famous people, movies, sports teams and more.

– Use define something for the dictionary to appear.

– Use google scholar to search for scientific documents.


3. Filter results

– Use the operatorย site:ย  e.g. site:gov or site:stanford.edu to define the site searching space.

– Use the operatorย filetype:ย  e.g.ย filetype:pdf to define the type of document you want to obtain.

Find all file types here.

ย  ย  ย  ย  ย => note: combine operators for even better results!

fun check: Type “lifetype:KmL around the world in 80 days” and save the link as. Then upload that file into Google Earth and see the route of Phileas Fogg in the famous book by Jules Verne!


4. Get rid of what you don’t want, keep what you do

– Use the minusย (-)ย operator to remove what you don’t want to see in your search results. For instance typing: salsa -dancing, gives recipes and not dancing moves.

– Use quotes ” “ to preserve word order, for example when googling song lyrics in order to find a song.

– Use the OR operator when you are looking for phrasal synonymity. This way you ‘ll broaden your search result space.

– Use index: to ensure that a specific word exist in the page result you get for your query. E.g. Type: blog search engine optimization index:image. This way you ‘ll get to learn about blog seo and be sure that the info is going to contain image optimization too.


5. Decide what you are looking for

Google gives you the possibility to search specific categories like blogs, images, discussions, news and lots more from the left side panel.

Google Images Search

fun check: Search by image. Enable the image search barย and drag and drop images there from your computer or use image URLs you find on-line. Google is going to find the info behind that image, or find similar images to the one uploaded. This way you can answer “Where is that place in the picture?” easily!


6. Calculate fast

– Type calculations in the search box and just hit enter. You ‘ll get the result directly.

– Get standard info fast e.g. population of Japan

– Make conversions e.g. 36C in F

fun check: Google makes conversions for your recipes! Try typing “4 tablespoons in cup”, guess what, google knows the answer! ๐Ÿ˜›


7. Mind time

Refine time periods from the time panel on the left. This helps me when i want to read about a specific event in the news thatย happenedย lately.


Of course a few tips don’t replace the course Google is offering, these are just a few things i learned, use and wanted to share with you for making my day easier.

Do you have any google hints, or other useful operators
i should know about?

1if only i could google everything!

P.S. Today it’s Google’s anniversasry! Happy Birthday Google! ๐Ÿ˜€


46 thoughts on “Power Searching with Google-what i learned

  1. As much as I love google, in the first years of its inception it was a much less “biased” search engine – you could get really wild results from all over the globe that put a different spin on what you might be looking for – like randomly searching through a library card catalogue in the old days, but I digress… Did the course say that you sometimes get different results by changing your location in the settings? Nice tips and a good laugh too!

    • Today google search has become pretty specific… Actually the course didn’t mention that results change by location! But now you said it, i always see greek results even if i type my query in english! I guess that’s weird but also expected, given the way google search works… So i ‘ll be playing around with my location today! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. I’m not sure I like this new google way of showing the sites that pay on top of every page with a few non paying ones at the bottom..The paying sites are repeated at the top over numerous pages while you never seem to get through the list of those who don’t pay…How will anyone ever get to those of us small businesses who can’t afford to pay!!! I want to find another search engin!!!

    • Well, for starters, top ranking sites don’t pay to get to those first spots. At least they don’t pay google…. Their first ranking positions is due to their good Search Engine Optimization. There are “rules” which, if you follow in your site/blog, google’s spiders are going to pick you up first during their search. It takes lots of work and updating to keep up. You may want to find another search engine for your company’s page to rank at the top, but you will know that google is the search engine everyone uses. So take a look at your site’s SEO and try to optimize it…

  3. What a great tip. I google anything too but honestly, I am still new to the web world and anything techinical I freeze. Love the humor of the last cartoon image. I wish I too can just google for everyday life’s questions.

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