21 Ways to Improve Your Google Search Results

Published on January 29, 2015

Wouldn't it be nice if Google could just read our minds? I mean, granted, that would be a little disturbing, but it would at least give you the exact results you were looking for.

While Google is very good at what it does, sometimes finding exactly what you need takes a little extra work.

Luckily, Google search has a bunch of built in tricks that you can use to really hone in on what you're looking for - provided you know what they are, of course.

A recently released infographic from Hubspot compiled a fantastic list of Google search operations that we know you will find useful. Here are 21 ways you can improve your Google search results.

  1. "search" (ex. "Luke, I am your father") - If you're looking for an exact phrase, use quotation marks around your search phrase.
  2. -search (ex. inception -movie) - Add a hyphen (-) before a word to exclude a search term. If a word has several meanings, this may be particularly helpful.
  3. site: (ex. cheesecake site:www.pepperplate.com) - Search a specific term or phrase within a specific website domain. First write your search term, then "site:" followed by the website you want to search.  We love this one at Geek| Chicago!
  4. related: (ex. related:buzzfeed.com) - Find sites with similar content to a URL you already know.
  5. allintext: (ex. allintext:Chicago free events) - Find pages where all the terms appear in the text.
  6. intext: (ex. martin luther king junior intext:mountaintop) - Find pages where the one term appears in the text, and other terms appear elsewhere in the document (like a title or URL).
  7. allintitle: (ex. allintitle:Oscars 2014) - Find pages whose title contains all words in the search.
  8. intitle: (ex. flu shot intitle:help) - Find pages whose title contains a particular word in the title, with other terms appearing elsewhere in the document (like in the text or URL)
  9. allinurl:(ex. allinurl: cnn sports) - Find pages with the search term in the URL.
  10. location: (ex. barack obama location:london) - Use this on Google News to find stories coming from a particular location.
  11. filetype:suffix (ex. home sales 2014 filetype:pdf) - Restrict your Google search results to a specific suffix/file type.
  12. .. (ex. $100..$200) - Separate numbers by two periods to see results that contain numbers in the given range.
  13. * (ex. there is a * that never goes *) - An asterisk works as a wildcard, and helps you find the missing word in a phrase.
  14. OR (ex. olympics 2012 OR 2016) - Find pages with one of several words by using a capitalized OR. Without OR, results would show pages that include all of the terms.
  15. + - Google recognizes this when searching for blood type.
  16. @ - Google recognizes this when searching for social tags.
  17. & - Google recognizes this when searching for strongly connected ideas and phrases.
  18. % - Google recognizes this when searching for percent values.
  19. $ - Google recognizes this when searching for prices.
  20. # - Google recognizes this when searching for trending topics that use hashtags.
  21. - - Google recognizes this when searching for words that are strongly connected.

Be sure and check out the original Hubspot infographic for more fun tips!  And don't forget to book mark this page! (ctrl-B or cmd-B)