Tips and best practices for Google Search

27 Octoberr 2017

It goes without saying that Google is the most popular search engine in the 21st century with an alleged average of 40,000+ searches being made every second translating to over 3.5 billion search queries daily and a whooping 1.2 trillion searches yearly.

With that many users constantly browsing the Google search engine, it’s ironic how the majority of users are not using the Google Search tool to its maximum potential. We’ve identified this issue and are here to help with this article containing our top 10 most useful tips to help you unleash your Google Search’s full potential.

  1. Utilise Tabs

Above every search result, there are a number of tabs such as All, Images, Shopping, News, and More. By simply making use of these tabs, you are able to define exactly what type of search you need. For example, if you are looking for images of “cute cats”, click on the image tab and you’ll pull up search results bearing only images.

  1. Use Quotes

If you’re searching for something specific, you can use quotes to filter out unwanted results. For example, if you want to find information about Angelina Jolie’s kids, typing in “Angelina Jolie’s kids” into the Google Search bar will filter out all other irrelevant news that will be associated with any of the keywords contained in your search. Without using quotes in your search, Google is essentially pulling up search results containing any one of the keywords that you have entered into its search bar.

  1. Exclude Words with a Hyphen

If you’re looking for a word that has an ambiguous meaning often confused with another word, use a hyphen to exclude the word that you don’t want to be found in your search results. For example, when you search for the term Mustang, your search results will contain both horse and car. If your search intent is to find out more about Mustang horses, simply type in “Mustang -cars” into the Google search bar and it will eliminate all search results containing the word “car” in it.

  1. Use a Colon for Specific Site Searches

If you’re trying to gather information from a specific site only, use a colon in your search. For example, if you’d like to get search results about Patrick Dangerfield only from the AFL website, typing in “Patrick Dangerfield” will do the trick.

  1. Find Pages that link to a Website

If you’d like to find out who is linking to a particular website, for example,, simply type this syntax in the Google search bar “”. This could prove to be an extremely useful tool when performing competitor analysis as you will know where your competitor is getting their backlinks from.

  1. The Asterisk Wildcard

The asterisk wildcard is a rather fun and unique trick that many people are not aware of. By incorporating an asterisk into your search, you are virtually leaving an empty space allowing Google to fill it in with just about any other word it finds. This can come in handy if you have an idea of what a quote is but don’t know the exact words to it, for example, typing in “Patience * a *” will bring up results containing Patience is a Virtue which is an infamous proverb.

  1. Find Similar Sites

If you’re a big fan of a particular site and are on the lookout for a similar site, for example, you’d like to find more websites similar to the Daily Wire, typing in “” will bring up search results for similar sites. This is an extremely powerful tool that can help you discover new sites you may like.

  1. Solve your Mathematical Problems

Here are Curtin, we know that we aren’t mathematical geniuses and often rely on a calculator to do the calculations. With Google, you can utilise the search bar to solve any mathematical problem you may have. In need of an answer to the equation 12 / 10 x (3 - 0.182719)? Pop that into Google and you’ll find your answer immediately!

If your mathematical problems go beyond the petty equation, you can even broaden your horizon into Google searching Planck’s Constant or the exact value of Pi.

  1. Perform Multiple Phrases at Once

Google search is an extremely flexible tool accommodating the ability to search for a multitude of things at the same time. For example, if you’d like to narrow a search down using two different phrases, you can simply do this by putting each phrase in between inverted commas and placing an OR in between them.

For example, if you’d like to search for the best way to prepare for a marriage ceremony and also how to prepare for a marriage ceremony, simply type into the Google search bar “best way to prepare for a marriage ceremony” OR “how to prepare for a marriage ceremony”.

Alternatively, if you’d like to search two words at the same time, just type in the words with an OR in between them. For example, white gold OR yellow gold.

  1. Searching for a Range of Numbers

Although a lot of people may not find much use in searching for a range of numbers, it can come quite handy should the need ever arise. Those of you who find statistics interesting will find this trick particularly fascinating.

By using two dots in before or after a number, you are notifying Google that you are in search of a specific range of numbers.

For example, entering 23..28 into a Google search will prompt Google to search for the range of numbers in between 23 to 28 - which is 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, and 28.

An alternative way to make use of this syntax is to search for something like this “Which teams have won the Toyota AFL..2016”. This search will prompt Google to revert back with the teams that have won the Toyota AFL in 2016 as the two dots before the year 2016 indicates to Google that you do not need any search results before or after the year 2016. By using this syntax, you are able to narrow down search results to a specific number which will help minimise unnecessary sifting through search results.

If you’d like to learn more about the countless of possibilities Google Search can do for you, drop us a line and we’ll help out as much as we can.