Avoid wading through page after page of search results by making your Google searches more targeted. Here’s how to get exactly what you need:
• Either/or. If you want pages that have one term or another, type in “or” or use the “|” symbol, called the pipe symbol.
Example: affordable | green | office supplies.
• Quotes. If you want to search for an exact phrase, use quotes.
Example: “Affordable green office supplies” will return only pages with that exact phrase.
• Not. If you don’t want a word, use the “-” symbol next to it.
• Similar terms. Use the “~” symbol to search for similar terms.
Example: A search “~green office supplies” uncovers pages with terms like environmental, sustainable or earth-friendly.
• Definitions. Use “define:” to get a quick definition.
Example: “define: sustainable” turns up definitions, along with links.
• Vertical search. Search specifically within blogs, news, books and more. Enter your search term, then click on “more” for a drop-down menu. Then choose Blog Search, Book Search, etc.
• File types. If you just want to search for Word documents, for example, type “filetype:doc” as part of your search query. This will restrict your results to files ending in “.doc” (or “.xls,” “.pdf,” etc.), and show you only files created with the corresponding program.
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