Google online training course

Google search engine lesson 2, Search options


When you are searching with a search engine its best to enter one or a few keywords that are related to that what you are searching for.
For example, the keyword Iphone in google will give a result of more than 2 billion websites which have the words iphone in their pages in one way or another.
However when we use the words Iphone 4s we will only get 277 milion websites which is much more specific to what we are searching for.
And when we use the words Apple iphone 4s we will get 146 million search results. This doesn't mean all the websites that you will find give you decent and good information but this is because everyone does their best to come on the first page of the search engines.

Of course nobody expects you to visit all these websites.
What i allways do when using a search engine is: that if the information is not on the first two pages of the search engine i will try to make my search more specific.

Using quotation marks

One way in making your search more specified is by using quotation marks ( " " ).
When we use the same keywords but we will place them in between quotation marks "iphone 4s" this will result in 224 million websites where these keywords are found.
Why is this the case ?
This happens because when we put our keywords in between quotation marks google will start looking for that exact phrase.
When we don't do this google will show us every website where the word "iphone" and or "4s" appear in.

Quotation marks are good but sometimes they can also do their work too good.
For example when you will type "bill gates is the owner of microsoft" this will result in much fewer websites than when you will search "bill gates is" "the owner of" "microsoft".
As you can see you can also use multiple quotation marks in one search between words if you think this will give you better results.

Qoutation marks are perfect to use for by example errors that appear once in a while in some programms. Place these between quotation marks and make a search.
This will increase your chances of finding a solution for your problem alot.

Using plus signs

When we type more than one keyword in a search engine i will go look for websites who habe one or multiple of these keywords in their page. Or we can search for an entire sentence.
However by using a plus sign (+) we can make a word "more important".
For example. if you type "apple iphone" +4s then google knows that he must give a higher priority to the word "4s".
Between the plus sign and the higher priority word no space must be used.

Using minus

Honestly the plus sign won't make alot differnce in your search results.
When using the minus sign however the search results can be very different.
For example, i am a big fan of the Lord of the rings movies.
When i enter the kewords "lord of the rings" i will get more than 78 million websites that refer to the lord of the rings movies.
However when i look for "lord of the rings" - movie it will only give me 29 million results.

You can also add as much words with the minus sign as you want that you dont want to appear on the webppage: lord of the rings - movie -ebay.
If you want to exclude alot of words you can use the minus sign before quotation marks.
Lord of the rings -"movie ebay".

All these signs are used in all search engines.

Using asterisk sign

If your not sure how a word is written just type a * where the letter is what you are doubting about. The search engine will automaticly fill in the empty spot for you.

Combining signs

Its also possible to combine all the signs i have discussed in this lesson.
For example: "president clinton" +USA -states will give an entirely different result than when we exclude -states.

Don't give up using the search engines it can take a while before you know how they work. But if you do find out you will see that its possible to search much more efficient when using them.