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37 Advanced Google Search Tips for Smarter Searching

Learn the Secrets of Google Advanced Search. Easy step-by-step Google Search Tips with instructions & practical examples. Learn how to search smarter.

Eric Melillo

Eric Melillo

Eric is Chief Growth Officer and President of Meticulosity.

Google, the world’s most powerful search engine, has changed the way we find information. Use these advanced Google tips & tricks and you’ll become a search ninja. If you're looking for some fun, try the Google Hacks.

Advanced Search Definition Key

Search query = Data entered in Google’s search field
Keyword = 1 or more words in your search query. AKA search terms.
[bracket word] = words inside brackets are user defined

1. Use an Exact Phrase

Enclose your keywords within quotes and Google will do an exact phrase search.

  • Use case
    Find classes or training on direct sales. It can be any type of training or class, but it must contain “direct sales”.
  • Syntax
    "[keyword 1] [keyword 2]" [keyword 3]
  • Example
    "direct sales" training

2. Try Using... OR in search

Google will include all words from your search criteria unless you specify. By typing OR between your terms, Google will know it can look for one set of terms or the other. Capitalize OR, otherwise, Google will assume it’s just part of your keyword.

  • Use case
    I'm looking for grilled recipes for either shrimp or scallops.
  • Syntax
    [keyword 1] OR [keyword 2]
  • Example
    grilled shrimp OR scallops

Google Search Tip: typing capitalized OR between two topics will give results for both

3. Google Search Exclude Word

Exclude a word from Google search by adding a minus sign in front of that word. This can be tricky, so let’s see it in practice...

  • Use case
    You’re looking for marketing automation tools, but you don’t want email marketing automation tools as a search result. Let’s have Google exclude the word “email”.
  • Syntax
    -[keyword to exclude] [keyword to include]
  • Example
    -email marketing automation tools

4. Find all Words in a Text Block

Use Google’s allintext: syntax to search only a site’s body text and ignore links, URLs, and titles.

5. Find Words Within Text + Title + URL, etc.

Find web pages where your search terms are in different locations. Ie - in the page body text, page title, URL, etc. For this use intext: before your keywords.

  • Use case
    You’re looking for an article on the health benefits of running
  • Syntax
  • Example
    intext:health benefits running
    NOTE: Google will search for "health" only in the body text where "benefits running" can be a results criterion for body text, page title and URL.

6. Google Search in a Title (one word)

Search for a word inside a web page title, and another set elsewhere on the web page. For this you’d blend intitle: into your search query.

  • Use case
    You’re looking for marketing blogs that use the word inbound in the title.
  • Syntax
    [keywords 1] intitle:[keywords 2]
  • Example
    marketing blogs intitle:inbound

7. Google Search in a Title (all multiple words)

Search within a web page title for all words in your query, use allintitle: before our search words.

8. Search Within in a URL

Searching for keywords inside a URL is easy using  allinURL.

  • Use case
    You’re looking for an article on "SEO competitor research" and want to restrict search results to URLs that contain your keywords.
  • Syntax
  • Example
    allinURL:seo competitor research

9. Search Within a Website

Search for a word within a website - use the site: syntax in front of the website URL, followed by your search term. This will restrict search results to that website only.

  • Use case
    You’re looking for the abbreviation for the New York Stock Exchange only on the New York Times website.
  • Syntax
    site:[website URL] [keywords]
  • Example nyse

FYI - Use this tip for searching within websites even if they don’t have an organic search function.

10. Google Search Similar Words

Google search for similar keywords or phrases we’ll use the ~ sign to get synonyms related to your query.

  • Use case
    Return exact results for direct marketing along with words similar to strategies, like tips and best practices.
  • Syntax
    "[keywords]" ~[keyword synonym]
  • Example
    "direct marketing" ~strategies

To find websites with similar content, use the modifier related: followed by the site you know.

  • Use case
    You’re looking to compare Inbound Marketing Software that’s similar to something you already know of, in this case, HubSpot.
  • Syntax
    related:[website URL you’re familiar with]
  • Example

12. Google Search Definitions

Easily find the definition of a word without having to go to a dictionary website by using define: before your word. Google will deliver the definition and an audio player that offers the word's phonetic pronunciation

  • Use case
    You’re looking for the definition of marketing.
  • Syntax
  • Example

Google search definition example

13. Google Search for Price

Google can help comparison shop and help look for other price options. Use a $ in front of a number to return price based search results.

  • Use case
    I know the new Amazon echo plus retails for about $149 and I’m looking for cheaper options.
  • Syntax
    [keywords] $[number]
  • Example
    amazon echo plus $99.99

14. Location-based Searches

To find news or information within a specific location, enter your search term, followed by the location: command.

  • Use case
    You heard the Avengers movie was filmed somewhere in Georgia and looking for info specific to that location.
  • Syntax
    avengers location:georgia
  • Example
    avengers location:georgia

15. Google Search Wildcard (Missing or Unknown Words)

Can’t think of all the words? Include an * to tell Google to fill in the blanks for you. This works well for song lyrics or book titles as an example.

  • Use case
    You’re looking for the remaining words to the nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty".
  • Syntax
    [keywords 1] * [keywords 2]
  • Example
    Humpty Dumpty * a wall

16. Translations

One of the handiest Google search tips is the ability to translate words between languages. Use the word translate, along with the word in the language you know, followed by the new language.

Google search translation example

TIP - if you don't see your translation, go directly to:

17. Google Search File Type

Search for  file types such as PowerPoints, PDFs, etc use the filetype: command in your search words.

  • Use case
    Let’s say you wanted to find only PowerPoint presentations about marathon training plans.
  • Syntax
    [keywords] filetype:[file type extension]
  • Example
    marathon training plan filetype:ppt

18. Google Area Code Lookup

Easily find where an area code is located. Enter the words area code plus the three-digit code, then Google will return the location. Tip - we can also search in the reverse to find all area codes for a location. See both use cases below...

  • Use case 1
    You’re looking find where the area code 212 originates.
  • Syntax
    area code [3-digit area code]
  • Example
    area code 212
  • Use case 2
    You’re looking find the area codes for New York City.
  • Syntax
    area code [location]
  • Example
    area code New York City

Google Search Tips: Google can lookup area codes

19. Conversion Calculations

Use Google to convert US to Metric or any other like measurements.

  • Use case
    You’re looking to convert 32 miles (a US distance measurement) to kilometers (a metric distance measurement).
  • Syntax
    convert [data value + unit of measure] to [like unit of measure]
  • Example
    convert 32 miles to km

Google Search Tips: Google can provide conversion calculations

20. Google Zip Code Lookup

It’s easy to find the zip code for an address.

Google Search Tips: Google can lookup zip codes for any address

21. Stock Information

Enter a company’s stock ticker symbol in your search bar, to get the latest performance data.

TIP: if you don’t know a company’s ticker symbol use Syntax 2.

  • Use case
    You’re looking for Microsoft’s stock performance.
  • Syntax 1
    [stock ticker symbol]
  • Syntax 2
    [company name] stock
  • Example: msft

Google Search Tips: Google can give you stock information

22. Google Search Calculator

Use Google as a calculator by entering your calculation into the search bar.

Numerical operators
* for multiply
+ to add
- to subtract
/ to divide

  • Use case
    You’re looking to multiply 20 times 25.
  • Syntax
    [number] [operator] [number]
  • Example

Google Search Tip: calculator results for 20*25 = 500

23. Tip Calculator

Want to figure out the tip? Besides regular calculations, Google also has a handy tip calculator function. Enter the search term tip calculator into the search box. Google will return a simple calculator to help you determine the percentage to tip based on your total bill.
Google Search Tip: Google can calculate the appropriate tip from your bill

24. Search Within Numeric Ranges

To find information that falls within a range of numbers (dates for example), use two periods between a set of numbers. This tip is most powerful when combined with a set of keywords.

    • Use case
      You’re looking for Star Wars data from the date range 1977 to 1983.
    • Syntax
      [keywords] [first date]..[second date]
    • Example
      star wars 1977..1983

NOTE: you can leave [first date] off as optional.

25. Stopwatch

Use Google stopwatch if you don’t have your smartphone handy, enter stopwatch into Google for a stopwatch tool.

Google Search Tip: Use Google stopwatch to keep expert time.

26. Timer

If you need a timer and don’t have your smartphone handy, enter timer into Google for a stopwatch tool.

  • Use case
    You need a ten-minute timer
  • Syntax
    [length of time] timer
  • Example
    10 minute timer

Google Search Tip: Google can act like a timer

27. Sunrise and Sunset

Find sunrise and sunset times on a specific day and/or location we’d use the term sunrise or sunset.

  • Syntax 1:
    sunrise {enter} - Google uses your IP location
  • Syntax 2:
    sunrise New Haven, CT
  • Syntax 3:
    sunset los angeles July 4, 2019
  • Example: sunset madrid spain

28. Weather Data

If you’re looking for weather information for a particular location, enter the location plus the word weather. Google will return current conditions, weather alerts, and forecasts for that location.

  • Use case
    You’re looking for the current weather in Seattle, Washington.
  • Syntax 1
    weather [location]
  • Syntax 2
    [location] weather
  • Example
    weather seattle wa

Google Search Tips: Google can give weather details from your area

29. Flight Status

A little-known search tip that will save frequent fliers some time is the flight status search. Enter the airline name plus the flight number. Google will return information about the flight including estimated departure time delay information and current status.

  • Use case
    You’re looking to track the status of a Delta flight 101.
  • Syntax 1
    [airline name] [fight number]
  • Syntax 2
    [airline abbreviation] [fight number]
  • Example
    delta 101

Google Search Tips: Google can give you flight status

30. Sports Scores, etc

Are you a sports fan? Google search is an easy way to stay on top of scores and the latest news about your favorite team. Enter the name of your team or two teams playing each other, and Google will return information about scores and schedules.

  • Use case
    You’re looking for info on the Champions League game, Manchester United vs PSG.
  • Syntax
    [team 1] [keywords] [team 2]
  • Example
    manchester united vs psg

Google Search Tips: Google can give you sports scores and game details

31. Nutrition Information

Trying to decide what to have for lunch? Enter your food item for info about fat content, calories, nutrients and more.

Google Search Tips: Google can give you nutrition details

32. Google Images Search

Find images name, description, and type.

  • Use case
    You’re looking for sales funnel image in PNG format.
  • Syntax 1
    [keyword] image type
  • Example
    sales funnel png

33. Movie Search

Find info about a movie such as showtimes, IMDB rating, streaming services, cast and more.

  • New movie (use case)
    You’re looking for showtimes for the latest Avengers Movie.
  • Syntax 1
    movie:[new movie name]
  • Example
  • Old movie (use case)
    You’re looking for streaming services that have the old Humphrey Bogart movie "Casablanca".
  • Syntax 1
    movie:[old movie name]
  • Example

Google movie search

34. Do A Barrel Roll

This is a fun little hack my kids showed me.

35. Flip A Coin

Who carries cash these days? Or better yet - coins? For those times when you need a coin flip.

36. Askew

Another fun little hack I do to my wife's laptop.

37. Arcade Games

Ahh, when you just need to take a mental break. Kick back with a few arcade games - then get back to work :)

Final Thoughts

Everyone knows how to use Google, but not everyone knows how to use its full potential. Use these Google search tips along with the search shortcuts to find results faster and with greater precision.

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