Here are 10 ways to Google better


Each second Google processes about 40,000 search queries which is more than 3.5 billion searches a day or 1.2 trillion searches a year.

Each second Google processes about 40,000 search queries which is more than 3.5 billion searches a day or 1.2 trillion searches a year.

Using Google’s search engine is a part of our everyday tech life and plays a vital role in helping us navigate the worldwide web.

Each second Google processes about 40,000 search queries which is more than 3.5 billion searches a day or 1.2 trillion searches a year.

Just over 90 per cent of all web searches are done through Google with about 20 per cent of those only searching for a photo.

Here are 10 tips to make it easier to quickly find what you’re looking for.

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Search a website

This is one I use all the time. Putting “site:” in front of a web address followed by your search term makes Google only look for results on that particular website.

For example: “site:stuff.co.nz/technology smartwatches” will only produce results Stuff’s tech section about smartwatches.

Most websites don’t have very good search engines and even fewer allow you to filter results. This trick lets you use the search power of Google to make it easier to find what you need.

The Tools button

When you type in a search you get a list of results and above those are eight buttons.

The one of the far right is called Tools which lets you refine the results according to date – past hour, past week, past month or past year. You can also use this button to restrict the searches to just New Zealand-based websites.

If you have a favourite site you like to visit and want to see others that are similar then you can use the word "related".

INA PRUSAKOVA/123rf

If you have a favourite site you like to visit and want to see others that are similar then you can use the word “related”.

Use quotes

This is the most simple trick. Using quotation marks around search terms will mean only pages with the same words in the same order will be shown.

This is particularly good for finding out who said a quote, such as “it is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves” (Sir Edmund Hillary) or if you’re trying to find information about a person.

Reverse image search

Google has the power to use an image you upload to find similar photos.

For example, if you upload an image of the Sky Tower, Google has the ability to recognise it and give you information about it. It can also work on faces too.

To use this feature, you need to go to the Google Images search page which can be accessed by clicking on “images” in the top right corner of the search homepage. Then click on the camera in the search bar to upload your image.

Eliminate results

Some search terms have ambiguous meanings that can confuse Google.

To make sure you get the correct result put a minus sign in front of a word you don’t want to be included. For example, “jaguar -car” will only bring up websites about the big cat, though you’re still likely to see ads for Jaguar cars.

Use your voice

If you’re a slow typist, then you can use your voice to enter search terms.

Click the microphone symbol in the search bar on the Google homepage, then say your request.

It only really works with common words and places. For example, asking about Jacinda Adern resulted in a range of websites, usually about Justin, that had nothing to do with our prime minister.

You can also say “flip a coin” and Google will flip a virtual one for you if you’re struggling to make a decision.

Similar sites

If you have a favourite site you like to visit and want to see others that are similar then you can use the word “related”.

For example, typing “related:stuff.co.nz” brings up results showing other news websites in New Zealand.

Google as a dictionary

You can use Google as a dictionary by using the word “define” before your search term.

For example, “define morality” will show its definition, along with its pronunciation and etymology. It can also be used for slang terms such as bae or SMH.

Google has the power to use an image you upload to find similar photos.

123RF

Google has the power to use an image you upload to find similar photos.

Search settings

Making a few changes to the search settings page can make it easier to find information on Google.

Go to google.com/preferences to tweak how you want to use the site. A good idea is to allow more than 10 results per page. Having 30-50 per search means you don’t have to keep reloading new pages.

It’s also handy to have results open in a new tab so you can stay on the search screen, and if you have children I would suggest turning on the SafeSearch filter.

What to leave out

Google usually ignores common terms such as “a” and “the”. These are known as stop words and also include “is”, “at”, “which”, and “on”.

Punctuation is also typically ignored and so are capital letters as search engines do not distinguish between uppercase and lowercase.

It’s also best practice to use the base word when searching. So, “dog” instead of “dogs”.

That means you can drop most suffixes when entering terms. However, there are some exceptions such as “walking” if you’re for sites about the activity of walking.

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