How to Really Use Google

07 February

How to Really Use Google

Google is a big deal. It's seemingly the only search engine out there. They offer a bevy of services that you will probably never use. It's even a verb. I'm going to THAT Agency *insert noun here* when I get home. See. As debonair as the name may be, it just doesn’t have the same flow. That is why I believe it's an absolute travesty that people don't use it the way it wants to be used. That came out a little dirty. I'll try it again. Let's make Google work for you! Cheesy, but PG.

Let's dive right in.

Scenario 1

Let's say that I wanted to search for my name on Google. If you've never done this before then you are obviously lying. No one is buying into it. But I'm only going to search for my first name, and on THAT Agency's website, because otherwise, Google says that I'm a British reporter for Fox News.

Because there is no search function on the THAT Agency's website, it might be a tad imprecise if I went to Google and typed:

"THAT Agency"+Jonathan

In fact, It retrieves over 64,000 results. Let’s use some Google modifiers to get the results we want.

In this example, I use the inurl: and intext: modifiers.
inurl: restricts the search to a specific site.
intext: specifies an exact string of text that I am searching for.

inurl:THATAgency+intext:Jonathan

We come up with my blogs… and, upon broadening the search by clicking on omitted results, the blogs of another Jonathan.

Scenario 2

Let's say a friend calls me up to tell me about this "super cool" new game he just purchased; it's called Descent 3. I still act enthused, even though the game was released nearly a decade ago. But he has a problem. He doesn't have the documentation for it. Even though it's a video game, for some reason he still needs the manual to figure it out.

Solution:

The intext: and filetype: modifiers. intext we discussed above, but filetype: is going to restrict all results to a specific file format. So I go to Google and type:

intext:descent+interplay+filetype:pdf

And voila! The first result is a Descent 3 manual. The friend can now enjoy his antiquated game.

These modifiers have been under a lot of fire lately because they can, and are, used to exploit Google in returning information that has been haphazardly left, unprotected, on the web; password files, copyrighted media, etc. But if you use them as intended (and there are many more to fool around with), they will save you time and allow you to find exact information.

TAGS: SEO, General