Anybody who is familiar with the Internet would have for sure used the Google search engine. The number of results and the speed at which it is delivered amazes a lot. Their no-nonsense approach to web indexing has made Google the most popular and widely used search engine surpassing its nearest rival by some distance. Having said that Google search is not always accurate even with all the enhancements. The concept of WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) is applicable here too except that it is what you type that matters. To further refine the search results Google has a set of advanced options and operators that can be used either solely or in combination to arrive at the most appropriate result. Let us take a look at some of the advanced search options and operators provided by Google.
Advanced Search Options
The advanced search options in Google can be found at the right of the search box. On clicking it, you get the facility to help you find web pages based on the following options:-
All these words – All the words entered in the search criteria is looked up both together as well as individually.
This exact word or phrase – All the words or phrases within quotes is searched for, not the individual words
Any of these words – Here the OR operator comes into effect. The search results are based on at least one of the words linked to OR.
None of these words – The search results are displayed that do not have the words specified here.
Numbers ranging from – These are numeric ranges with a lowest value and the highest. You can use this to search for products with a price range.
You can further limit the results by using the Narrow your results by options listed below:
Language: This option when used filters pages based on the languages you specify. This can help you in viewing the results of pages that are written only in the language you are looking for.
Region: This option helps you narrow down your search based on a particular country, or region. More often you would have search results displaying pages from the region you have specified. These are essentially pages that are published in the region you have listed.
Last updated: This option when used helps you find pages that are updated within the specified time frame. The options available are “Anytime”, “past 24 hours”, “past week”, “past month”, and “past year”.
Site or domain: This helps you restrict your search results within the specified domain name, say Wikipedia or any particular government website. This is especially useful when you know that the information that you are looking to obtain is in a particular website, but are not able to find it by browsing through it. You can narrow your results to domains like .edu, .gov, or .org.
Terms appearing: This option helps you narrow down your search based on where do you want the search term to be appearing. You have options to choose from “anywhere in the page”, “in the URL of the page”, “in the title of the page”, “in links to the page”, and “in the text of the page”.
Safe search: This is something most of us would have encountered, especially when doing an Image search. This sets the condition to the search results whether to filter out sexually explicit content or not. You have options to choose from “Show most relevant results” and “Filter explicit results”.
File type: This search option when used help you find pages in your preferred format such as Adobe Acrobat (.PDF), Adobe Post script (.ps), Autodesk DWF (.dwf), Google Earth KML (.kml), Google Earth KMZ (.kmz), Microsoft Excel (.xls), Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt), Microsoft Word (.doc), Rich text format (.rtf) and Shockwave flash (.swf).
Usage rights: This filter helps you narrow down your search based on the usage rights attributed to the content. The options you have include – “not filtered by license”, “free to use or share”, “free to use or share, even commercially”, “free to use share or modify”, “free to use share or modify, even commercially”.
Further you also have the option to find pages that link to a URL or are similar to it. You can also search based on the pages that you have visited in the past. Besides the above, you can also use search operators and special characters to get more specific results. Let us take a look at some of the most useful ones.
|See some cool google tricks to play with|
The operators listed below have to be used before the search keyword to add the relevant condition to the search results.
Site: Returns results from a specific sites or domains
Related: Shows content from related web sites
OR Shows results of pages that might use any of the words specified
Info: Helps get information about a website including pages that link to it, similar pages and cached version
Cache: Helps take a look at how the web page looked like the last time it was crawled upon.
Special characters or Punctuation:
Google search also gives you the luxury to use punctuation to enhance your search criteria’s’ range or exclude certain elements from it. Let us take a look at the most useful special characters that can be used in conjunction with a search term to increase the search capabilities of the Google search.
+ Searches for pages on Google+ or even blood group types
@ Helps find social tags
$ Lets you find search results with a specific price
# Helps you to look for popular hashtags among trending topics
– Using this before a term excludes it from the search results
“ If you want to get the search results based on the exact key word given use the words in quotes002E
* The asterisk is used for wildcard searches as placeholders to fulfill a search
.. specifying two numbers with two periods (without space) in between sets the range for the search results.
Put your searching hat and explore the World Wide Web through Google trying these very useful advanced search options as well as search operators and punctuation. You will realize that finding the right information is not that difficult, after all.