I still remember the day I realized putting quotation marks around my search terms would produce better results. It was my sophomore year of college (sadly) and I was writing a 200-page journalism project and combing through thousands of Congressional bills. Let's just say, those quotes saved me a lot of research time. Dharmesh Shah recently put together a great list of 12 Quick Tips To Search Google Like An Expert and if you haven't already put them to action, I suggest you do. My favorite tips include:
- Explicit Phrase: Lets say you are looking for content about internet marketing. Instead of just typing internet marketing into the Google search box, you will likely be better off searching explicitly for the phrase. To do this, simply enclose the search phrase within double quotes. Example: “internet marketing”
- Site Specific Search: Often, you want to search a specific website for content that matches a certain phrase. Even if the site doesn’t support a built-in search feature, you can use Google to search the site for your term. Simply use the “site:somesite.com” modifier. Example: “internet marketing” site:www.smallbusinesshub.com
- Phone Listing: Let’s say someone calls you on your mobile number and you don’t know how it is. If all you have is a phone number, you can look it up on Google using the phonebook feature. Example: phonebook:617-555-1212 (note: the provided number does not work – you’ll have to use a real number to get any results).