Google: Googling For Dummies




By Niko McGlashan


Before modern search engines, the internet had a significantly smaller impact on our lives. In fact, to connect to any page, you had to already know the full address of the website! The main method for someone to find a new page would be from a very limited list of sites from their homepage, which could lead to only very generic sites. With the innovation of search engines, the internet has become one of the leading innovations of our time. Google has some key features that allows you to navigate throughout 700 000 000 websites, which continuously allow the user to stray from the first results. These particular “syntaxes” can benefit any user who is interested in discovering something that may not be within the first page. The following ten examples are tools that will drastically help your online experience.

How would you search for an exact word or phrase?

To search for an exact word or phrase, put quotations around the text, such as: “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. This can be useful when attempting to filter out search results and narrowing down the content to exactly what you need. In general:


How would you search for something on a specific site?

When attempting to look deeper within a specific site, this syntax will help you shorten the amount of steps required to do so. This is useful for many reasons, such as trying to find the same recipe that was used for dinner last week that was such a hit! The format of this syntax is:

[search] site:[site name][.com,.ca,etc]

How would you correctly search for a definition?

To quickly increase your comprehension of any text, Google is one of the fastest resources. To hastily learn the definition of a sentence or phrase, use the syntax:


How would you search for a specific product available within a specific price range?

Shopping on the web can leave a lot of variety to choose from. To specify a price range in a search, structure the query with this syntax:

[product] [lowest price ($)]..[highest price ($)]

How would you search for a specific filetype?

Perhaps you were reading a very interesting article the other day, but unfortunately your computer crashed and you could only remember the name and file type! When you go to search just the name, you are given far too many results to choose from. Fortunately, you remember that it was a .pdf document which can narrow down your search results extraordinarily. If you ever stumble across a similar situation, the following structure can be a lifesaver:

“topic” [filetype:pdf]

How would you include or ignore words in your search?

Depending on the structure of your search, your results could vary tremendously. If you want to ensure that a part of your search is included, you would encase it with apostrophes, such as “&” or +&. To emit specific results in your search, you would denote that term by using the syntax:

[search] -[exception]

How would you find related pages?

This tool is extremely useful when attempting to gain knowledge on a particular subject. Whether gathering information for an assignment or for your leisure, the related pages syntax can be found extremely useful.

related:[site URL]

How would you find a topic, searching all available synonyms of a word?

With a lack of better words, you could use this syntax to deliver you similar results by insinuating that your search is not completely accurate.

[topic] ~[synonym]

How would you find the time in another country?

Google’s time function can help anyone curious about another location’s time zone, whether it is for travel purposes or pure curiosity.


How would you find out how many Egyptian pounds you get for $20 Canadian dollars?

Google’s currency converter poses as the most instantaneous currency comparison of any two currencies worldwide. To use this feature, structure your search as followed:

[amount] [currency 1] in [currency 2]

For example: 20 CAD in EGP (Twenty Canadian Dollars in Egyptian Pounds)


The internet has evolved far beyond its initial intentions, with the capability of assisting people in multiple aspects of their lives. There are a multitude of search tools that exceed far beyond this list in purpose and functionality. As digital natives become more common, the tricks of the web become more resourceful in nature.



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