Unraveling Google Search Operators I
It has been a long time since the web was hand indexed (before 1993) till the rise of the web search engines. There have been lots of them with names like Archie, Gopher, Veronica or WebCrawler or the mythical Altavista just to name some of the Oldies Goldies. Some merged, others disappeared and some prevail, but almost everybody will agree on that Google is, probably, the most used search engine right now. Stats say so (67%).
But, as what happens with our brains, we don’t use Google to its full capacity in spite we use it lots of times every day. In this first delivery I will try to tell you how to get the most out of your searches with some hints on Google’s search operators. Specifically, I will talk about Punctuation & Symbols. In my next post I will get into search operators itselves.
Punctuation & Symbols
Choose one or combine some of them, but Google warns that search results using punctuation and symbols will not always throw better results due to the restrictive nature of some of them. Anyway, most of them work quite well and if not, Google will suggest you results retrieved without these operators.
Quotes (“ ”)
“How to choose your SEM agency”
Write a sentence or a sequence of words between quotes and Google will show you pages that show exactly the same words in the same order.
Chinese ancient ceramics –Ming
Remove from the search results those who show the words or operators after the dash symbol (minus).
“Best * restaurant in Barcelona”
Use as a wild card or to replace unknown words in a search.
Two periods (..)
Put two periods between two numbers to set an interval. It’s not very accurate because Google can pick up numbers within the interval but not necessarily related with the unit (m2, €, $…) we have chosen. For example, performing a search like “Downtown flat 125m2 ..250m2”, results can show flats of 50m2 in 220 B Baker Street.
Shows results related with the subject before the tilde but not necessarily including this term.
X AROUND Y
Chocolate AROUND almond
Where X and Y are two words separated by not more than 2-3 words. Useful when looking for concepts that must be near but not necessarily side-by-side
Prioritizes Google+ profiles results. Really not very accurate.
Or €, £… Obviously this operator finds prices but the results are shown with the right number but in several currencies.
And that’s all for now. You will have more about Google search operators soon. Since then, feel free to try these ones 😉