4 Google Search Tips I Actually Use

As business owners, we are constantly learning.

Technology advances, consumers change their minds, and our businesses depend on digital outlets to get our customers’ attention.

Research is the key to staying relevant to customers.

So today, we’re going to scratch the surface of advanced search by revealing 4 Google search tips I actually use on a daily basis. One day they may just act as a convenience, but I assure you, there will come a day when these little tricks will be life-savers.

  1. Using a colon for specific sources.

We’ve all been in a pinch and forgotten exactly where something is on a particular website. If you know the URL you can easily search for a keyword on that website using this simple formula in Google search.

Formula: URL:keyword

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Some websites have crazy amounts of content to weed through or their search bars are not optimized. In both cases, I find it way easier to just do a quick Google search to find what I’m looking for.

  1. Using parentheses to include specific words.

I use this tip when I am doing a blind search without a particular source. If I know that I want an article or white paper centered on inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing. I’ll use those terms in parenthesis.

Formula: General search terms with “keywords” in parenthesis

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  1. Using a minus sign to leave out specific keywords.

This tip is particularly helpful if you want to rule out particular sources. For this example, I did not want a blog. I specifically wanted a PDF so I specifically canceled the word “blog” and searched for only PDFs using parenthesis.

Formula: keyword –keyword exclusion

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  1. Using an asterisk to fill in a missing word.

If I’ve written down a statistic but cannot remember a couple words that are in the series, I’ll substitute them with an asterisk.

Formula: Keyword * (missing word) keyword

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I remembered the that 38% of millennials delay marriage to buy a home but could not remember the exact wording or the source. Therefore, I used the asterisk to let the search engine know that I was missing a significant piece of that thought.

Bingo ~!

Got it on the first try. I found the specific source I was looking for.


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There are so many incredible search tools that you can store in your armory, but even these four basics can take your searching to a new level.

I hope that as a business owner you are always increasing your knowledge of your industry. Perhaps these tools can help you in your daily research.

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Meet the Author

Emily Heinkel is a journalist-turned-marketer with a knack for creative communications and digital marketing strategies. She prides herself on creating original content that speaks to targeted audiences through conversational language, compelling images and moving storytelling.

Heinkel began her career with Ad4! two months after graduating from Troy University with a multimedia journalism degree. As a Trojan, she was a reporter, photographer ...
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