As much as I really love to use the website LMGTFY.com (which stands for let me google that for you). I understand the issue though, there are just SO many results for any given Google search, sometimes it’s actually difficult to find exactly what you want. So, let me help you figure out how to use google to help you find the results you are looking for even faster!
How to use Google search operators
A search operator is additional characters you will add to your search query to refine your search a bit more. Some of the most popular ones are…
- budget app -ios will find pages containing “budget app” but not “ios” (although, most apps would be both android and ios, so this would severely limit your results!)
- android ~glossary will find pages containing glossaries and terminology related to “android”
- define:computer will show you the definition of “computer”
- ~thumb drive will return results for related words like USB drive, flash drive, etc.
- fitness tracker site:familytechzone.com will give you all of the posts written about fitness trackers on the site familytechzone.com
- fitness tracker -site:familytechzone.com adding a minus sign to the site operator will give you results about fitness trackers on all sites EXCEPT for familytechzone.com (but really, why would you EVER want to exclude Family Tech Zone??? 😉
- best family * website will allow you to add a wild card to your search. Place the * for your wildcard phrase and it will return results that will vary the *, like best family tech website, best family tree website, best family travel website, etc.
- “family tech zone” will search for that exact phrase within websites. Typically a search result for family tech zone can yield results as long as they have all three words in the page, this way you will find results with pages with all three words put together.
Use the tabs
In every search results page there are tabs at the top for you to refine your search into different categories. If you are looking for an image you can click the images tab, if you are looking for a recent news article, click the news tab, etc. There are also tabs for shopping, maps, videos, and even flights!
Change your settings
There are also several things you can do to improve the results you get within Google itself. At the top of the search results, the same line as the tabs spoken of earlier is a settings link. When you click here you can turn safesearch on or off (to filter out results you would rather not see!). In addition to safe search, you can also increase the amount of results per page you are viewing. I mean really, who wants to click the “2” on a search result page?
Use the Tools tab
The tools tab will allow you to change the date rage for your search results, so you are definitely seeing the most up to date articles. I use this often when I’m trying to find a specific piece of news.
Now you should have a few tricks up your sleeve and know how to use Google effectively! Go forth to search and find! I don’t want to have to use lmgtfy.com on you again!
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com