Using Google Search More Effectively

Everyone using a computer is very familiar with searching for products, services, videos and news on Google. Doing a simple broad search works pretty well, but there are some features of Google that can help you get better results in less time.

Blocking Websites from Your Search Results

If you are searching for news in your field, for example, you may be looking exclusively for articles that were not published on your own site already. A website may also appear repeatedly in search results which really has nothing to do with what you are looking for. In any instance like this, you can get better results by going to this page to restrict sites from search results.

Searching Specific Websites with Google

If you want to search for results within a specific site or domain on Google, they have an advanced search option that can help you with that. If you wanted to search this site,, you would enter site: “Office 365” The part in quotes is the search term that you are looking for. It is important to note that you do not need http://, you just enter the domain after “site:”

Verbatim Searches Lead to Exacting Results

When you search for an esoteric term in Google, it may be spelled almost like a more common word. If you run a standard search, Google will assume that you made a mistake and give you search results for the more common term that may hide the results you really want. On the left side of the screen after a Google search, the words “More Search Tools” appears. Click that, and when the list opens click the bottom selection, “Verbatim”. With this option, Google does not try to second-guess your search with spell check but provides you exactly what you searched for.

Using Google as a Dictionary

People sometimes go to or other resources to find the definition of a word. Google has a feature which makes it very easy to get any definition quickly. If you wanted the definition of the word library, for instance, you would enter define: library. Google can also be used when you are unsure of spelling using this same technique. If you are asking for the definition of a misspelled word, Google will provide the correct spelling stating, “Do you mean “library?””.

Searching for Scholarly Results for Academia

Many people affiliated with universities prefer the private subscriptions offered in their libraries to using public search, but increasingly people are turning to Google Scholar for their academic searches. The first reason is that the Google interface is familiar including the use of options compared to the private searches. Another reason is that Google has the reputation for having the most results in any subject, because Google systematically indexes almost all of the Internet.

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