Basic Searches

I work in an industry where knowing information or gaining information quickly is very valuable.  There have been days that people have lined up outside our office door with questions.  While I definitely appreciate the fact that people come to me and my team and trust us to provide the answers they need, I think it is more important that they learn how to get the answers themselves.  One of my good friends and office mates who shall remain anonymous would send people a link called or Let me google that for you.  Sure it is funny… a little but really it brings out a greater point and that is there are those who help themselves and those who help themselves by you helping them.  Of course this is within the context of this post only.   I feel it is important to understand how to search in a basic sense and even some advanced searching.   I know that someone else has written about this and so I will search about google searching and tell you what I used to search and what the results were.
For this exercise (as simple as it is) I am simply telling you what I did to search.
I opened a tab on my browser and went to, in the search box I entered “how to google search”
Google by default gives you 10 results in generally less than .25 seconds.  In this case about 274,000,000 results (0.27 seconds).   Pretty good for .27 seconds.


After I found my 10 results plus the various news items, I decided to provide you with this link I will normally add and remove words within the context of the search to see what comes up.  Sometimes I will even put something that is out of context to see what comes up.

Here are 12 tips that I found at the end of my 10 search results:

12 Expert Google Search Tips

  1. Explicit Phrase:
    Lets say you are looking for content about internet marketing.  Instead of just typing internet marketing into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase.  To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes.

    Example: “internet marketing”

  2. Exclude Words:
    Lets say you want to search for content about internet marketing, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term advertising.  To do this, simply use the “-” sign in front of the word you want to exclude.

    Example Search: internet marketing -advertising

  3. Site Specific Search:
    Often, you want to search a specific website for content that matches a certain phrase.  Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the “” modifier.

    Example: “internet marketing”

  4. Similar Words and Synonyms:
    Let’s say you are want to include a word in your search, but want to include results that contain similar words or synonyms.  To do this, use the “~” in front of the word.

    Example: “internet marketing” ~professional

  5. Specific Document Types:
    If you’re looking to find results that are of a specific type, you can use the modifier “filetype:”.  For example, you might want to find only PowerPoint presentations related to internet marketing.

    Example: “internet marketing” filetype:ppt

  6. This OR That:
    By default, when you do a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search.  If you are looking for any one of one or more terms to match, then you can use the OR operator.  (Note:  The OR has to be capitalized).

    Example: internet marketing OR advertising

  7. Phone Listing:
    Let’s say someone calls you on your mobile number and you don’t know how it is.  If all you have is a phone number, you can look it up on Google using the phonebook feature.

    Example: phonebook:617-555-1212 (note:  the provided number does not work – you’ll have to use a real number to get any results).

  8. Area Code Lookup:
    If all you need to do is to look-up the area code for a phone number, just enter the 3-digit area code and Google will tell you where it’s from.

    Example: 617

  9. Numeric Ranges:
    This is a rarely used, but highly useful tip.  Let’s say you want to find results that contain any of a range of numbers.  You can do this by using the X..Y modifier (in case this is hard to read, what’s between the X and Y are two periods.  This type of search is useful for years (as shown below), prices or anywhere where you want to provide a series of numbers.

    Example: president 1940..1950

  10. Stock (Ticker Symbol):
    Just enter a valid ticker symbol as your search term and Google will give you the current financials and a quick thumb-nail chart for the stock.

    Example: GOOG

  11. Calculator:
    The next time you need to do a quick calculation, instead of bringing up the Calculator applet, you can just type your expression in to Google.

    Example: 48512 * 1.02

  12. Word Definitions:
    If you need to quickly look up the definition of a word or phrase, simply use the “define:” command.

    Example: define:plethora

Read more:

I had to give the writer the proper credit of course.  (Dharmesh Shah)

Bottom line here is that you can search Google, Bing, Yahoo, Dogpile,  or any other search engines and get the information you need.  You could be the office genius!  Good luck!



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