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5 Google Advanced Search Techniques for Power Searching that every marketer should know

Updated on July 10, 2016

Learn to perform an advanced search on Google easily

Learn to perform an advanced search on Google easily
Learn to perform an advanced search on Google easily | Source

Google Search: A snapshot

We all know that Google is working hard to improve search by doing constant changes to algorithms and placement of text ads. The potential of Google Search has increased from what it has been from 5 years ago. Speaking of the inclusion of personalization, localization, customisation, and with the great depth of data that Google knows and understands about any average user, it’s now very easy to overlook on what goes into making an useful search.

Performing an open ended search on Google, such as ["Movie Theatres nearby" or "Starbucks near me"], a few years ago would have been never thought of. Going right back to 2011 - the results would have been nearly useless for these searches — as Google would throw a random mix of big movie theatres that would pop up in glorious blue (with Wikipedia links) which are movie theatres and coffee shops.

Now, Google lists down the nearest movie theatres and coffee shops, when you perform a search in what you call - rich snippets. The image below describes the example of a rich snippet.

Rich Snippet Example

Rich Snippet Example
Rich Snippet Example

Advanced search techniques for Power Searching

These steps or advanced techniques will have you searching like a pro on Google in no time. Note that if you are already a technology geek and you already know to use these search techniques on Google, I still suggest you bookmark this article that details the advanced Google search tips so that it will serve as a recap - which you can refer to again and again:

1. "Exact Match" Search Modifier

Starting out on a few queries, or search modifiers that can be used to perform an intelligent search on Google, let's look at the "Exact Match" search modifier first.

Imagine you are searching for something like “Digital Marketing, or the "ISBN number of a XYZ book”. You will need to type the words in quotes to find this exact piece of information.

This search modifier is great for searching serial numbers, ISBN numbers of any books, model numbers of products, and of course - many obscure names. This may be a very basic search modifier, but this string is very important and is the first thing you will need to learn in advanced search techniques - especially when combining search modifiers to achieve specific & expected results.

"Exact Search" Modifier Example Screenshot

"Exact Search" Modifier Example Screenshot
"Exact Search" Modifier Example Screenshot

2."Query Exclusion" Modifier

Moving on to the "query exclusion" modifier, note that this subtract modifier will remove any query you don’t want to see in the Google search results. Say you are searching for a query which can be "Steve Jobs" and you don’t want Microsoft to be included in the results. This modifier deems to be very useful for this requirement - when trimming the fat from your search results. You just have to type in

“Steve Jobs -“Microsoft” to see the results show up.

When searching for something specific, and you’re finding the inclusion of terms or phrases you want to avoid, simply introduce the exclusion modifier to remove them from the results. Sounds good - isn't it?

"Query Exclusion" Modifier Example Screenshot

"Query Exclusion" Modifier Example Screenshot
"Query Exclusion" Modifier Example Screenshot

3. "Query Combiner" Modifier

The third search query modifier that we are discussing here is the “Query AND query” or what we call in other words — The Query Combiner

By using the modifier “AND”, while searching will make sure both your queries appear within each result.

Example can be: “Steve Jobs AND “Dell”.

Please note that searching without using the ‘AND’ operator, would return results individually featuring either “Steve Jobs”, or “Dell” as opposed to results featuring both “Steve Jobs” and “Dell.”

"Query Combiner" Modifier Example Screenshot

"Query Combiner" Modifier Example Screenshot
"Query Combiner" Modifier Example Screenshot

4."Query OR Query" Modifier

The 4th query modifier or string we are talking about allows you to search for multiple terms. It's called the "Query OR Query" Modifier. An example of this in action is shown when you type “Steve Jobs” CEO, OR Founder, OR Owner, OR Partner.

It’s a very useful modifier as this allows to probe into multiple or similar phrases, and words within one result. Simply awesome, isn't it?


"Query OR Query" Modifier Example Screenshot

"Query OR Query" Modifier Example Screenshot
"Query OR Query" Modifier Example Screenshot

5. Site Specific Search String

Unlike other modifiers, "Site:example.com" — The "Site Specific Search String" is vital for you to know and understand.

To see this string in action, all you have to do is to type in site:<yourwebsiteurl> and it will return searches for a specific website. Type in "site:www.facebook.com" and it will help in finding information within the specific website which is Facebook. A great advantage is that this search string can also be used to narrow down to TLDs, for example (dot gov, dot com, dot edu) etc.

You can also probe in to see your competitors websites and what pages of their's are listed on Google Search by performing a search with this string.

"Site String" Example Screenshot

"Site String" Example Screenshot
"Site String" Example Screenshot

For further reading and exploring the subject

So, we’ve covered all the most basic search modifiers. Please know that you will need to think creatively in order to search intelligently and smartly. I have given you a fair insight of the search modifiers, which you've learnt now through reading the blog article.

I've also included the link to a video "How to Google like a Pro! Top 10 Google Search Tips and Tricks" from the popular YouTube channel "Epic Tutorials for iPhone, iPad, iOS etc." You can watch the video which covers more advanced techniques for Google Search that includes combination of modifiers, strings etc.

If you think you are satisfied with knowing and understanding whatever was covered in the blog, then, its time for you to let the magic happen with your search from now on. Happy searching!

Quick Look/Recap: Search Modifiers

Sl.No
Modifiers
Search Query Example
1
"Exact Match" Modifier
"Specific word/topic, product or ISBN Number"
2
"Query Exclusion" Modifier
"Steve Jobs -“Microsoft"
3
"Query Combiner" Modifier
“Steve Jobs AND “Dell”
4
"Query OR Query" Modifier
“Steve Jobs” CEO, OR Founder, OR Owner, OR Partner"
5
Site specific search string
"site:yourwebsite.com"

Bonus Video: How To Google Like A Pro! Top 10 Google Search Tips & Tricks

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© 2016 Srinidhi Ranganathan

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    • Cali Kulture profile image

      Cali Kulture 15 months ago from 306 S Wall Street Los Angeles, CA 90013

      Awesome