Tech Tip: Advanced Google search functions

Searching with more than basic keywords returns better results

Searching Google is a quick way to find information, but more advanced functions can help users find more helpful information faster.

To see a video version of this Tech Tip, watch a video on YouTube.

Travel is one category where Google is very useful. Type in a flight number such as "United 1111" and Google will return the flight status. Type in "time in Japan" and Google will show the local time there. Google makes converting measurements, be it miles to kilometers or teaspoons to millimeters, easy to figure out as well.

Forcing Google to return more specific results can be achieved by putting a search term in quotations. For example, searching "chocolate chip cookies" will only return results that have those three words in exactly that order.

To exclude certain keywords from results, use a dash or hyphen before the word. For example, if homeowners want to find information on windows, but not the Microsoft variety, a search term of "windows -microsoft" will exclude Microsoft from the results. Quotation marks are not needed.

To search within a website for keywords use "site:cnn.com obama." That search (without quotation marks) will return articles and pages that include U.S. President Barack Obama.

Search operators such as AND and OR, which are both case sensitive and need to be in capital letters for this sort of search, can be use in queries. For example "ipad AND apple" will return results that include both keywords while "ipad OR apple" will return results that include either word.

Nick Barber covers general technology news in both text and video for IDG News Service. E-mail him at Nick_Barber@idg.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjb.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Googleinternetsearch engines

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nick Barber

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?