Streamline your Searches: How to make the Most of Google Search

Although I don’t claim to be any kind of Google geek, I do get frustrated looking over shoulders and seeing long-winded searches being thrown at Google. Maybe these people learnt to search the internet with Ask Jeeves, so searching for “where can I find chocolate mousse recipes that don’t contain any dairy products?” is a perfectly normal and not at all time consuming.

But, Google is a very smart cookie, and if you get the hang of a few tricks you can be streamlining your searches, getting more relevant results, and saving precious time. For example, our vegan chocolate mousse fanatic could have searched for “vegan chocolate mousse”, and achieved more relevant and delicious results.

Here are some essential tips for Google search:

Exact Phrase

If you want to search for an exact phrase; rather than typing Social Media Marketing, try adding quotation marks, like so, “Social Media Marketing”. This will ensure Google returns results with this exact phrase.

Exclude Words

To exclude words from your search, add a ‘–‘ sign before the word; Social Media –Marketing will returns results for Social Media which do not contain the word marketing.

Site Specific

If a certain site doesn’t have a search function, not to worry, Google can search it for you. Just use the following formatting—“SEO”


If you want to search for a word or phrase, and its synonyms, add the tilde (~) mark before your search term. “~SEO”


This is by far my favourite function; by adding ‘define:’ before your search term Google will pull definitions from various sources, including Wikipedia and Merriam-Webster. For Example—“define: social media”


Google can do simple calculations and also do basic conversions of height, weight and mass. Quicker than opening up calculator, or finding a conversion chart. (It can also tell you the number of horns on a unicorn, or the frequency of a blue moon, which is always useful to know.)

And now for some Google related silliness…

It’s Valentine’s Day soon, and some loved-up Maths geek has figured out that if you type the following into Google, you’ll get yourself a rather romantic graph. Awh!

sqrt(cos(x))*cos(300x)+sqrt(abs(x))-0.7)*(4-x*x)^0.01, sqrt(6-x^2), -sqrt(6-x^2) from -4.5 to 4.5

Try searching for Google Gravity and hit the ‘I’m feeling Lucky’ button.  Or try searching for askew.

When using the RSS feed reader hit the following keys: “up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.” Look out for the ninja!

Got a can of spam sitting in the back of the cupboard just waiting to be spruced up into a magnificent dining experience? Check out your spam folder in your Google mail account for a sponsored Spam recipe. Spam Veggie Pita Pockets? Well that sounds delish!