Research published last month shows that Google has a 67.1% share of the search engine market. This is up on 66.4% in March 2012 meaning that, while competitors such as Bing, Yahoo and Ask aren't going anywhere, Google is still the undisputed king of search engines (if you don't believe me, ask yourself why you'll often hear "let's Google that" and you never hear "I was Bing-ing your company...")
As most people are using Google's search engine, and most likely will be for some time to come, I thought I would share some of my favourite hints, tips and shortcuts for getting the most out of Google. Here are ten tips to get you searching like a professional regardless of how experienced you are with IT and the web.
Search for exact words and phrases
The use of speech marks is probably the most well-known Google search tip. This is used to only bring up the web page results that contain the words within the speech marks for example "Resolve IT Solutions" would bring up the below, rather than pages that contained those three words seperately.
Exclude a word
Using the minus sign in front of a word is used to exclude certain results so you only get what you're lookign for. For example, if you are searching for Restaurants in Sheffield but don't really feel like Mexican Food that night you could search for Restaurants in Sheffield -Mexican and this would provide the below. (For the record, I love Mexican food!)
This tip allows you to perform a search within a specific site. If you are wanting to find Windows 8 pages within Microsoft's site you would searchsite:microsoft.com Windows 8 and that would provide the below.
The tilde (~) character is the opposite of putting a single word in quotes; it searches for words which are related to the word which is after the tilde so therefore if you searched ~Technology it would bring up the below.
A lesser-known trick which gives you the ability to search within a specific time range by using DATE..DATE. For example if you were trying to find news on Resolve IT between 2008 and 2010 you would search Resolve IT Solutions 2008..2010 and it would provide the below results.
Specific file type
When using Google you have the ability to search for a specific file type and the method of doing this is to us filetype: so for example if you were to search for PDF documents regarding Windows 8 you would search filetype:pdf Windows 8 and that would provide the results shown below.
One word or another
Using OR between two words gives you the ability to search for webpages containing one word or the other. For example if you were to search for Windows 8 OR Windows 7 you would get the below results.
Google also provides a very useful trick within Google searching, define: which allows you to search for the definition of a word and get it back directly at the top of the results page. If you would like to find the definition of support you would search define:support and it would provide the below results.
Google also provides a searching trick for calculations which launches a calculator app within Google search so for example if you searched 17 * 11 then that would provide the result below.
The calculator app shown in the tip above also has the ability to perform unit conversions. If you wanted to know what 21lb was in kg then you would search for 21 pounds in kg, providing the below result (and one enormous cake!)
Hopefully this has made you a bit more confident trying out shortcuts in Google Search. Thanks for reading and happy searching!