I’ve always liked doing research. I have also been the guy in my circle that has been known to be really good at research and being able to find out just about anything. The trick is, I really use Google for almost all of it. Sure there are other great resources, like the library. But this article is going to be focused on Google search tips.
After you read this you will be able to do better research and impress your friends with weird knowledge about honeybees, write better blog posts and articles, and even get a raise by knowing how to get the negotiation right. Sound good? ok lets get started.
Google Search Operators
Are these ladies dressed in clothing from the 20’s connecting wires when you do a search? No. That would be cool though.
A search operator is a special instruction you give the search engine to give you a very specific result. An example would be, if you wanted to write for a website about honey bees, you could use the inurl: search operator. You’d type into the Googe search bar:
[code]inurl:”write for us” honey bees[/code]
and you will get a list of websites that have the words “write for us” in the URL and the site will at least talk about honey bees. Pretty cool right?
Let’s do another example. We’re going to find a specific type of file. Let’s say I wanted to learn about edible plants in Florida, but instead of searching through blog posts I want a PDF that I can print out and take with me on my search. I would use the filetype: search operator. It would look like this
[code]filetype:pdf edible plants in florida[/code]
and there you have it. Google will find you PDFs all about edible plants in Florida, click print and you’re on your way!
Here is a list of Google search operators that you will find useful with a quick explanation. Pick 2 or 3 of them and do a search to test them out. You will be surprised at the information you pull out.
Keyword Tools | Broaden Your Search
Have you ever wanted to find something but weren’t sure what exactly what term you should search? Happens to me all the time! In this scenario, make your best guess and look at the bottom of your search results where you will find “related searches”
As an example I had to keep it up with this bee theme. So I searched “what to feed bees” and this is what I got in Related searches:
Ah you noticed the searches per month next to each result? This is where I use a keyword tool. See if you’re trying to rank for a certain search in Google a lot of people start with a tool that lets them know how often that term is searched.
Those results are from a tool called Keywords Everywhere. It’s a simple Chrome or Firefox extension that will give you related searches, plus ideas of that even Google hadn’t thought of. It’s a great tool for doing research.
Did you know sometimes Google will give you a different result that someone else? They do this in an attempt to make search more personalized to you. But you don’t always want this when you’re doing research. so on your keyboard hit Control + Shift + N and you will open a window where they do not use personalized searches. Try this and see if you get a different result.
Get Results From A Single Site
We’re going back to search operators here. if you want to get results from a single site because you love the information they post, you can do a search on just one website using the site: operator. before the URL and add the keyword you want to search. For example; I want to learn about essential oils, but there is a lot of misinformation out there. I trust Dr Axe to give me good information so I’d type into Google
[code]site:draxe.com essential oils[/code]
and I will get only articles published on draxe.com
Tools Google Already Provides
One thing that drives me nuts is when I want to know something, but it must be current information then Google pulls up results from a post written in 2011.
This doesn’t work for me. So I almost ALWAYS search for results within the last year. You can do this By clicking Tools under the search bar, then choosing a window of time to search within.
Another quick trick is to go to https://www.google.com/advanced_search to find all sorts of extras.
I’m going to create a printable pdf with all of the relevant search operators and put it here as soon as it’s finished.
Let me know what you think in the comments!