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Tips for Better, Faster, Efficient Google Search

Google search engine can be used with higher efficiency.
Samyak Lalit | November 1, 2011 (Last update: April 24, 2021)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

“Can you search faster in Google?”, “Can you search better in Google?”

Well, the answer is yes! If you think you know Google Search well, think again!

Google search has become almost inseparable part of our lives. For every sort of information we look up Google’s massive database which contains index of almost all the webpages on Internet. Google search engine also has been delivering on the promise it makes. No doubt, through Google the world of information (or information of the world) stays on our fingertips. Google provides all kinds of operators and some interesting facilities (like countdown clock) to make search easy and fun.

Although, Google wants you to spend less time on their website, but still how much time do you spend on searching information through Google? I guess, it is safe to assume that a significant amount of time goes into looking for the information you need. For most people Google is all about asking questions. Most people type full questions in Google search; e.g.

Where is the nearest Pizza Hut to Saket

Those who understand the working of Google better –they type only keywords –saving time and effort of typing full questions; e.g.

pizza hut saket

This is good. However, Google search is not entirely based on keywords. Google empowers its users with a lot of options which you can use to reach the desired information in lesser time. Lets have a look at some of these options. I have selected only those which could be useful for a common user.

Google search engine can be used with higher efficiency.

Google search engine can be used with higher efficiency.

Plus operator

This operator forces search engine to definitely consider the keyword.

pizza saket +discount

Here Google will be forced to show you only those webpages that contain “discount” keyword. If you would not use + operator then Google will also show the results which will be relevant only with “pizza” and “saket” but will have no “discount” in it.

Another use of + operator is to force inclusion of words like “where”, “how”, “I”, “my”, “of” etc. in search results. Normally Google does not consider these words even if your type them in search.

Minus operator

To force a keyword’s exclusion from search results.

pizza saket –hut

This example will force Google to show results where “pizza” is there; and/or “saket” is there BUT “hut” will definitely not be there.

Synonym operator

The sign on tilde ( ~ ) is used as synonym operator. Suppose, you want to search for inexpensive gloves and you type your query as:

~inexpensive gloves

Google will return results for: “inexpensive gloves”, “cheap gloves”, “affordable gloves”, “low cost gloves”. Therefore, you are actually doing several relevant search in one go!

Number Range operator

Two dots (..) are used to denote a number range. There should not be any space in between or on either side of these two dots.

european history 1400..1450

This search will return results relevant with European history but will also make sure that the webpages have numbers between 1400 to 1450 in them.

Wildcard operator

Asterisk (aka star) sign is used for matching any one or more words. E.g.

movies of * genre

This search will bring you results related with all the genre because * can be replaced by anything. For instance this search can match with “movies of drama genre”, “movies of comedy genre”, “movies of horror genre” etc.

Phrase operator

In Google quotes are used to look for a phrase.

"Roshan likes sunshine"

This search will bring you only those pages where complete and exact phrase “Roshan likes sunshine” will be found. If you will not use quotes around phrase –the search results will also include pages where words “Roshan” and/or “sunshine” will appear.

AND/OR/NOT operators

The use of these operators is self-explanatory.

"formula one" OR hockey

Will return webpages containing keywords either “formula one” or hockey

"lawn tennis" AND "table tennis"

Will return webpages containing BOTH phrases “lawn tennis” as well as “table tennis”

"Cricket stars" NOT "match fixing"

Will return webpages related with cricket players but will exclude pages having reference to “match fixing”. This operator works exactly like minus operator discussed in previous part.

Site operator

Use it if you want to get results only from a given website. For example: software

This search will return all the pages from TechWelkin where the keyword “software” will be found.

Definition operator

If you want to find definition of something –this operator will give you the answer right away.


This search will bring you the ever illusive definition of love!

Links operator

If you want to know which sites link to a particular website –use this operator.

This search will show webpages where there is a link to Google, however, does not show all the backlinks. The search will contain only a random set of results found.

Movie operator

It return information about movie shows.

This search will ask you to enter a city name. When you will enter location, “Delhi” for example, the list of all the theaters showing Ra.One movie will appear.

Filetype operator

This is very useful is you are looking content only of a particular file type. For example, if you are looking PDF versions of Constitution of India, you can use the following search:

filetype:pdf constitution of india

This search will have links only to PDF files (links to webpages will be excluded)

Location of keywords

Google search for your keywords in the entire content of all the webpages. But sometimes we want our keyword to appears in a specific location on the website (for example, in title of the webpage)

inurl:india (this will look for the keyword “india” in the URL of the page)

intitle:india (this will look for the keyword “india” in the TITLE of the page)

inanchor:india (this will look for the keyword “india” in the LINKS on a page)

intext:india (this will look for the keyword “india” in the body text of the page)

This was about using operators to get to the desired information quickly. But Google has more facilities in store!


If you type a mathematical calculation in search –Google will return the result. Sometimes it is a quicker way to get answer than running your desktop calculator.

233286 + 80847

This search will return 233 286 + 80 847 = 314 133

Area specific search

You can do vertical search –that is instead of searching the entire web –you can choose to search within a specific areas of web (e.g. blogs)

Unit converter

This facility can be used to convert one unit to another. For example:

1.34kg in milligrams

This will return 1.34 kilograms = 1 340 000 milligrams

Advanced Search

If you cant remember these operators –I would suggest you use advanced search option of Google –where all these operators could be easily selected.

And finally!

If you want to know the Answer to life, the universe, and everything –Google can tell you this as well! Click here to get the answer

I hope it was useful. Please feel free to ask me if you have any questions on the topic of better and efficient Google search. I will be happy to try and help you. Thank you for using TechWelkin.


2 responses to “Tips for Better, Faster, Efficient Google Search”

  1. Sharon says:

    Great info – do you have examples or hints specific to genealogy searches?

  2. Bsinghmzu says:

    Thanks, it is quite informative, I will wait for other parts of your post

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