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Use Google Search like a pro

Updated on January 5, 2012

Google is a super tool for writers - great for research, finding background info and fact checking Google. But often, even with Google, I end up plowing through a lot of crap to get to the gold. This article will give you some chops to become a Google search ninja.

Google lets you refine your search using special keywords called operators; 'date:', 'datatype:, 'site:, "link:", "related", "+", and "-"

The "site:" operator is used to limit the search to a particular web-site. All the search results listed will be from that particular site. For example doing the search: site: avocado will show only result pages related to avocado from Try it out.

The "date:" operator is one of the most useful.It allows you to limit results to just the pages that were created in the last 3, 6 or 12 months. Usually I want to limit the pages I find to just stuff from the last year to ensure it's up-to-date. site: date:12 avocado will find all the pages about avocados on from just the last year. site: date:6 avocado the last 6 months. site: date:3 avocado the last 3 months.

The "+" operator is the include operator. This means the keyword must be present to be included in the search result. For example: site: date:3 avocado + seeds will find all the pages about avocado seeds on from the last year.

The - operator is the exclude operator. This means the keyword must not be present in the search results.

link: will show you all the sites that are linked to your hub-page. Fro example I occasionally check for new links using ""

related:web-site will show you all the sites that Google considers related to your web page. I can find other pages Google thinks are related to mine by using "

The datatype operator lets you find particular types of objexts.

datatype:pdf pdf documents
datatype:jpg image files
datatype:mp3 music files
datatype:torrent Bit-torrent files

Learning to use a few Google operators will turn you in to Google ninja in no time.


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