Google search tips

Updated: 10/17/2017 by Computer Hope

GoogleBelow are some basic tips as well as some secrets that can be used on Google to help improve your search results and discover only the results you want.

Group your search for an exact match

Group your search query for an exact match by surrounding what words you want as an exact match with quotes. For example, if you are searching for computer help, better results are returned if you surround the search with quotes: "computer help".

Remove keywords from search

If your results have keywords you are not search for use a minus sign. For example, If you are looking for computer help but do not want pages containing "Windows" type: "computer help" -windows

Use number ranges in search

Google supports number ranges, for example, if you are searching for computer help between the year 2000 to 2005 you can type: "Computer help" 2000..2005

Use wildcards in searches

Google is capable of understanding the * wildcard in a search. For example, you could search for "fastest * in the world" to find results like "fastest birds in the world," "fastest cars in the world," and "fastest aircraft in the world."

Learn about other Google operators

Google has dozens of operators and functions that can be used in the search to help perform special search functions. Below is a list of these operators and a brief description about each of them.

define word - adding "define" in front of any word gives you a definition of the word. - Adding "site:" in front of any domain shows you search results for only that domain. For example, you could search for "microsoft" to show search results with "microsoft" in them but only from the domain.

Note: There must not be a space between "site:" and the domain.

allintitle:"computer hope" - Adding "allintitle:" in front of any text shows the search results that only contain that text in the title of the page. For example, you could search for allintitle:"computer hope" to show only show search results with "computer hope" in the title of the web page.

Note: There must not be a space between "allintitle:" and text.

allinurl:computer - Adding "allinurl:" in front of any text shows any search results that have that text in the URL. For example, searching for "allinurl:computer" shows all results that have the word "computer" in the URL.

Note: There must not be a space between "allinurl:" and the text.

View all available Google services

See the Google definition for a listing of dozens of other Google services.

Use more advanced searches

Below are some more advanced searches and what they do.

intitle:index.of + mp3 -asp -html -htm -php -pls -txt

In the above example, when entered into Google this search result looks for any index of MP3 files that are not in an ASP, HTML, PHP, or PLS web pages. In the above example, you can also replace mp3 with avi or other file extensions to search for these files.

intitle:index.of + mp3 "<artist name, track, or  group>" -asp -html -htm -php -pls -txt

In the above example, you could replace "<artist name, track, or group>" with the artist's name, track, group, or the name of the MP3 you are trying to find. Keep in mind when downloading MP3 that you should own the track or song you are downloading otherwise it is considered illegal.


In the above simple example, Google returns results of insecure live web cams and with some of the services even allow you to control the cameras over the Internet.

The above three examples are just a few more advanced searches used to help illustrate how many different things can be found through Google.

Additional information