5 Advanced Techniques for Using Google Like a Pro

How to Refine Google Searches for Your Research

Researching a topic online is deceptively easy. After all, you just need to type a query into Google to find all the websites in the world, right?

Well, it’s not quite that simple, as anyone who’s tried searching for a piece of specific information has likely discovered. Behind-the-scenes algorithms influence what results get displayed, and the search results that get returned may not be the most relevant to your needs.

Fortunately, there are a few advanced Google search techniques that can help you refine your search results and find exactly what you’re looking for.

1. Narrow down your search to a specific domain

Do you need to quickly find information on a specific website that perhaps doesn’t have a good search functionality? You can use Google’s powerful search on a single indexed webpage simply by adding “site:domain.com” (where “domain.com” is the web domain you want to search) at the end of your query. For example, “blizzcon site:prnewswire.com” brings up all of the press releases on the PR Newswire website that reference Blizzcon.

Google-fu-tips-screenshot | Narrow down your search to a specific domain

2. Search only academic or government sources

The technique referenced above also works for finding results only on a specific type of domain. Just use “site:.gov” or “site:.edu” to search only government or educational websites.

If you’re looking for higher-quality results or need strictly academic sources, weeding out commercial websites can help you find the information faster.

One quick note: Although “.org” suffixes are supposed to be designated for non-profit organizations, there are no restrictions on buying them — anyone who wants one can register a .org domain. This is not true of .gov domains, which require a letter of authorization from a government official, and .edu domains, which must be registered through EDUCAUSE and can only be granted to accredited degree-granting institutions.

3. Employ query string shorthand

Google became famous for being the first search engine to do away with complicated Boolean search techniques and query string requirements. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still use those techniques:

  • Placing “quotes” around an enquiry will search for the exact-match text. This is great for checking for plagiarism or searching for specific terminology.
  • Adding “-” in front of a term removes it from search results and “~” allows related words. So for example, “~orioles -baltimore -baseball” allows you to search for the bird species without your results being weighed down by information about the baseball team.
  • Using “filetype:” allows you to find content that’s not in an HTML page. For example, you can search “filetype:pdf” or “filetype:doc” to pull up downloadable documents about whatever you’re searching for.

There are additional search syntax tricks you can use for even more specific situations, such as searching for a keyword within a website’s URL or looking for data within a specific number range.

4. Use Google News to find results from news outlets and sites

You probably know that results in Google News are indexed differently from those on the main Google search results page, but did you know that Google also maintains an archive of newspapers dating back to the 1880s?

It’s not an exhaustive list, but it does give you a glimpse at real newspaper pages without having to venture into the library basement. You also can search archived newspaper stories by typing your search string followed by “site:news.google.com/newspapers”

Google fu tips | Use Google News to find results from news outlets and sites

5. Use Reverse Image Search to identify the source of a photo

Trying to find more context behind a photo? Use Google’s “search by image” tool to find all instances where a photo has been posted online. Just go to Google Image search, click the camera icon, and upload the photo or paste in its URL.

This can be used to debunk false or misleading stories or identify stolen artwork. You can also find visually similar images for artistic purposes, find a higher resolution version of a company logo, and more.

Curious if you can use that photo in your article? Know the rules to avoid copyright issues on your blog post or article.

Remember…

You don’t need to know everything as long as you know how to find the right answers. Take some time to practice these search techniques to help keep the information you need at your fingertips.

Subscribe to Beyond Bylines to get media trends, journalist interviews, blogger profiles, and more sent right to your inbox.

[blog_subscription_form]

Tiana Gibbs is an Associate Customer Content Specialist with PR Newswire moonlighting as a freelance copywriter. When not writing for the web, she can be found trying (and sometimes failing) to build an urban homestead in the Land of Enchantment.

You may also like...

41 Responses

  1. gate.io says:

    I may need your help. I’ve been doing research on gate io recently, and I’ve tried a lot of different things. Later, I read your article, and I think your way of writing has given me some innovative ideas, thank you very much.

  2. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  3. I appreciate you sharing this blog post. Thanks Again. Cool.

  4. Good post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the great writing

  5. Reed Griffin says:

    This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am really happy to read everthing at one place

  6. Londyn Eaton says:

    I just like the helpful information you provide in your articles

  7. This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am really happy to read everthing at one place

  8. Armando Chan says:

    There is definately a lot to find out about this subject. I like all the points you made

  9. You’re so awesome! I don’t believe I have read a single thing like that before. So great to find someone with some original thoughts on this topic. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

  10. India Thomas says:

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites

  11. I just like the helpful information you provide in your articles

  12. I am truly thankful to the owner of this web site who has shared this fantastic piece of writing at at this place.

  13. This was beautiful Admin. Thank you for your reflections.

  14. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  15. Good post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the great writing

  16. I very delighted to find this internet site on bing, just what I was searching for as well saved to fav

  17. Theresa Fry says:

    Hi there to all, for the reason that I am genuinely keen of reading this website’s post to be updated on a regular basis. It carries pleasant stuff.

  18. Good post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the great writing

  19. Awesome! Its genuinely remarkable post, I have got much clear idea regarding from this post

  20. Averi Bean says:

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on websites

  21. Kasey Clarke says:

    I just like the helpful information you provide in your articles

  22. Alice Greer says:

    I appreciate you sharing this blog post. Thanks Again. Cool.

  23. I’m often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

  24. Kylee Fisher says:

    This was beautiful Admin. Thank you for your reflections.

  25. Pretty! This has been a really wonderful post. Many thanks for providing these details.

  26. Awesome! Its genuinely remarkable post, I have got much clear idea regarding from this post

  27. naturally like your web site however you need to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth on the other hand I will surely come again again.

  28. Hi there to all, for the reason that I am genuinely keen of reading this website’s post to be updated on a regular basis. It carries pleasant stuff.

  29. Jaden Hodges says:

    I’m often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

  30. I like the efforts you have put in this, regards for all the great content.

  31. Clay Cooke says:

    Awesome! Its genuinely remarkable post, I have got much clear idea regarding from this post

  32. Shea Watts says:

    This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  33. I appreciate you sharing this blog post. Thanks Again. Cool.

  34. I truly appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark site list and will

  35. I really like reading through a post that can make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!

  36. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  37. I’m often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has actually peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your web site and maintain checking for brand spanking new information.

  38. Mark Vargas says:

    I truly appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I added it to my bookmark site list and will

  39. Good post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the great writing

  1. June 9, 2020

    […] Savannah Tanbusch, Beyond Bylines: Blog Profiles: Social Justice Blogs     By Tiana Gibbs, Beyond Bylines: 5 Advanced Techniques for Using Google Like a Pro         InDTale Magazine: The Best Books on sale this […]

  2. July 29, 2020

    […] To help refine your search even more to fit your needs, get familiar with advanced Google search techniques. […]

Leave a Reply