The Google Search’s learning curve is an odd one. You use it every day, but still all you know is how to search. But the search engine has plenty of tricks up its sleeve.
Here’s an overview of some of the most useful Google search tricks, from basic tips to new features just recently released.
1. Use quotes to search for an exact phrase
This one’s a well-known, simple trick: searching a phrase in quotes will yield only pages with the same words in the same order as what’s in the quotes. It’s one of the most vital search tips, especially useful if you’re trying to find results containing a specific a phrase.
2. Use an asterisk within quotes to specify unknown or variable words
Here’s a lesser known trick: searching a phrase in quotes with an asterisk replacing a word will search all variations of that phrase. It’s helpful if you’re trying to determine a song from its lyrics, but you couldn’t make out the entire phrase (e.g. “imagine all the * living for today”), or if you’re trying to find all forms of an expression (e.g. “* is thicker than water”).
3. Use the minus sign to eliminate results containing certain words
You’ll want to eliminate results with certain words if you’re trying to search for a term that’s generating a lot of results that aren’t of interest to you. Figure out what terms you’re not interested in (e.g. jaguar -car) and re-run the search.
My unconventional way to use Google
1. Searching by image + keywords
Google would find out expected result by searching a draft or drawing. In this case, I would like to find out information about a butterfly which gets green colour with two big white dots. I don’t know what its name is or what keyword I should use to shrink my search result.
Firstly, I drew a picture of the butterfly it looks like
I then imported this image to search bar and insert keywords moth and butterfly.
Google displays a series of butterflies which get green color and dots on the wings.
From the results, I find out the one I was looking for. By clicking on the image, I get more detail in the description.
2. Google calculates math graph
The snapshot below shows how to get a math graph by input a formula in Google