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55 Ways to Have Fun With Google. Go to Table of Contents. Visit Gifcom.


21. Google Search Tips

 

How do you have more fun when searching? Simply: become a better searcher. Here are some syntax basics as well as advanced tricks or bits of trivia for searching with Google.com:

A quote/ phrase search can be written with both quotations “like this” as well as a minus (or dot) in-between words, like-this.

Google didn’t always understand certain special characters like “#”, but now it does; a search for C#, for example, yields meaningful results. Note that not every character works yet.

Google allows 32 words within the search query (some years ago, only up to 10 were used, and Google ignored subsequent words). You rarely will need so many words in a single query – just thinking of such a long query is a hard thing to do, as this sentence with twenty words shows. However, it can come in handy for advanced or automated searching.

You can find synonyms of words. E.g. when you search for house but you want to find “home” too, search for ~house. To get to know which synonyms the Google database stores for individual words, simply use the minus operator to exclude synonym after synonym. Like this: ~house -house -home -housing -floor

Google has a lesser known “numrange” operator which can be helpful. Using e.g. 2000..2006 (that’s two dots in-between two numbers) will find 2000, 2001, 2002 and so on until 2006.