Blogging is hard enough without having to search through page after page of Google search results to find just the information you need. There are some tips and tricks to get you past the frustration of searching and not finding what you need. Our time available is our most precious asset, so we should speed up the process of finding exactly what we need when we need it.
We can take advantage of the features built into the Google Search bar, so you find what you are looking for quickly and save some of that precious time. Here’s how you begin:
Start with filtering out what you don’t want. You can do this by adding modifiers to your search. Here are some suggestions:
- Look for keywords on specific sites only. Let’s say you are writing a blog post on recommended vaccinations but don’t want to get caught up in the debate of anti-vaxxers. If you are looking for the ultimate authority on vaccines, you could type in vaccinations “site:cdc.gov” This will deliver you to precisely the right places on the CDC website, perhaps saving you plenty of search time.
- Use filetype to look for specific types of files. Looking for a pdf or Word file, search like this: “vaccinations filetype pdf”
- Subtract the results you don’t want to see by using a minus sign followed by the term you don’t want: “vaccinations –chickenpox”
- If you want to find additional sources that are related to your original or best source, type related: and then the website you already know, such as “related:cdc.gov” – no space needed between the colon and the website name
- Double up on your modifiers to find the information you need faster, add one, then the next. You could also use the subtraction symbol with another modifier. Try “vaccinations site:cdc.gov filetype pdf”
- Only want recent information? Go to the Tools category and look right below, you’ll find Any time and All results with dropdown menus, click on those to narrow down your options.
- Below the omnibar are several categories: All, News, Images, Videos, Maps, and More. Click on any of these and then click on the Tools at the far right of the bar to get one more layer of search narrowing.
- Looking for similar software or products? Go to Google and ask for a company you know, then click on the dropdown arrow next to the website listing that comes up and choose Similar. Google will deliver similar companies in your search result
- Did you forget the source of one of your quotes? Go to Google and type in an exact quote from the website and put quotation marks on both ends. Google will return only exact matches.
- You can use link:site address to find links to your site or a competitor’s site. As a blogger, this could be valuable information.
Thinking these choices are too hard to remember? Here’s another option for you…use the Advanced Search tool. It’s available to all, but you’ve got to know where to find it.
With a search bar open, look just below, you’ll find several choices that often go unnoticed. All, News, Images, Videos, Books, More, Settings and Tools
Choose Settings, then Advanced Search, simply follow the prompts from there. There are examples on the page of how to complete each option.
Learning to use the internet to your best advantage will serve you well. Be always on the lookout for shortcuts that save time and energy. Research is one of the most important skills you can learn on your blogging journey, practice your new skills, so they come naturally.