Better Google Results
If you are searching around for web design coding techniques or want to find a blog on a certain topic Google sometimes seems to miss your search terms completely. Using special characters you can target your terms to return more relevant search results.
If you run a normal search through Google and click “google search” Google will search for every word in your terms: and show pages relevant to your search. If you re-enter some search terms and click “im feeling lucky” Google will pull up the one website that it believes is most relevant to your search terms.
If you searched for “Web Design Blog”, the result that is returned will contain all the 3 search terms but not necessarily as a phrase or related in any way.
Google actually performs your search with the words you specify and in the order you have typed them. So to make a search more relevant you should always but the most important term first.
Google Special Characters
You can use special characters or operators to find results in a specific way. I will cover 6 special characters that will help you search more accurately.
If you put your search terms in quotes then Google will return results containing the exact quoted phrase in the order you have specified and containing each search term.
For Example if you search for “Anthony Brewitt” in quotes then the pages that are returned will show that exact phrase, not “Anthony had a dog called Brewitt”.
If we want Google to search for a particular term we put the addition sign directly in front of the search term, this is usually used if there is a stop word like; the, I, and, Of etc. So if your search term was
“+the web design blog” Google will take the stop word “The” as part of the phrase. Note that there should not be any spaces between the operator and the search term.
The exact opposite of the + operator. If you do not want a word to be in your search term then precede it with the minus operator, For example: “Book –by a.c grayling” . The pages returned from Google will not have the search term “by” within them.
This is called the tilde operator and is used to search for the word and synonyms of that word, a useful one for technical research. for example: “~ cat”. Just in case you didn’t know a synonym is a word that describes the identical or near identical to the original word. For instance Cat could return Feline or Pussy Cat.
Use an uppercase “OR” between search terms and Google will return any of the search terms. Handy if you want all your search terms to be within your returned results. For example: “Web OR Design” will find pages that include either “Web” or “Design” or both terms, but not pages that contain neither search term.
A great way of searching Google for a price range. Say you want to search for a new Sony monitor and you have a budget of 100 – 400, you could set your price parameters using this operator. For example: “Sony Monitor 100..400”
Special Character Conclusion
I hope these special characters will improve your Google searching, I use them often as a lot of the time I agree to projects that will have one or two sections I am a little unsure of, thanks to these special characters I am confident I will find my solutions in Google quickly. Happy Googling.