Think You Know Google?

thinkyouknowgoogleOver the past twenty years Google has rapidly become not only the number one search engine in the world but also the most visited website ever. With more than a million servers in centers around the globe, the internet giant processes more than a billion search requests every day. Although the majority of their profits come from Adwords, which is their paid advertising service, they also have a huge range of other wildly popular services.

It is fair to say that the majority of people using Google to conduct a search for information do so by simply typing in a keyword or phrase. User queries in the form of coherent sentences have become much more popular in recent years and Google adjusted its algorithm accordingly with the Hummingbird update in the summer of 2013 to accommodate these searches. However there are also ways to conduct more specific searches that you may not be aware of.

Quotation Marks

Using quotation marks around a phrase will help Google to understand your search query better. If you enter the term, “vegetarian shoes Canada”, then Google will search for these three words in any order. However, if you place the quotation marks around the phrase then Google will only return results which contain those three words in the order specified, thereby making your results more relevant.


Using a hyphen to exclude a word is another way to get more precise Google search results. Say for example you want to do a search for information about cheese but you don’t want any recipes coming up in your search results. You would simply type cheese –recipes. You would then be presented with different results than if you were to not exclude the recipe results. This can be used for absolutely any search query.

Search Specific Sites

If you want to run a Google search on just one website then you can do so by typing the search term followed by a colon and the website. For example if you want to look for mentions of Chaz Bono on the BBC website then you would type Chaz

Find Related Sites

This is a great little trick if you want to discover new websites that are similar to those that are already of interest to you. All you have to do is type the site that you already like, let’s say Hotmail for instance, after the word related and a colon. For example You’ll then be given a list of websites that are similar to hotmail, such as and

There are many more helpful tips and tricks for using Google. Sign up to the Web3 Newsletter and you can get these useful hints direct to your inbox!

Alix Jones