Search Smarter: Tips To Find What You Really Want On Google

We all use Google. It has become so prevalent, that we use it as a verb. But what if you’ve been doing it all wrong? Searching through thousands of useless results just to get to what you’re actually looking for.

It turns out most people don’t know these simple tips. Tips that can save you literally hours of needless searching.

Use Quotes

When trying to find something specific, try using quotes in your search. When you put your search inside quotes, it tells Google to search for the entire phrase. For example, searching just cats with hats on comes back with 8 million results. Put it in quotes “cats with hats” and you get only 2,400. Purfect.

Search this, not that

Using a hyphen, or minus sign, helps you exclude words from searches. For example, searching for cats may get you a ton of results on things other than the furry animals. But search cats-musical and you instantly exclude Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway masterpiece.


Who knew a simple * could be so powerful? When using an asterisk in a search, Google knows that the * can be anything. Say you’re unsure of a song lyric. Simply enter the part you do know with * for the missing word or words. Brilliant!

Use it like a calculator

Why open that pesky calculator app on your phone when you can simply type in 41*3 into the google search box? It really is as easy as 123. From addition to subtraction, multiplication and even division. You can type it as “5+5” or “five plus five”. Google can handle many mathematical computations, but not all of them. Try searching for a formula, like the area of a circle. Even Graphing and functions are possible.

Google keeps getting smarter

Simply typing weather and your zip code pulls up a detailed forecast for your area. Typing in just a stock symbol can get you up to the minute information on your financial portfolio. How about pizza near me? All of this without leaving the first page of results. From Flights to movie times, a simple search can do a whole lot.

What’s next? Who knows, but it seems after billions and billions of searches, Google really knows how to get us to the information we truly want. Now if only they could figure out how to make money off of all this. Oh… right.