Learn How to do Advanced Google Searches

Do you know how to do a Google search? Your answer is probably yes. But, even though most people know how to do a basic Google search, there’s so much more you can do! Have you ever struggled to find a specific thing? Well, no more. We’re going to show you how to efficiently do an advanced search that will get you your desired results straight away.

The Benefits Of Doing An Advanced Search

When you do a simple or basic Google search, it will give you hundreds of millions of results within a second. Usually, people don’t even click on the second or third page, but they linger on the first page. This will only get you so far. To find exactly what you’re looking for, you need advanced Google search skills.

  • An advanced Google search will save you a great deal of time.
  • An advanced Google search will get you what you need.

Step 1: Go to Google.com

Open up a new tab and go to www.google.com.

Step 2: Use Google search operators

Here are some of the most useful Google search operators which will help you become a pro Google searcher in no time. Practice using each one of them or pick one that you need right now.

1. Using “quotes” to search for an explicit phrase

Searching a phrase when you use quotation marks, will only give you results with the exact same words in the exact same order as what’s in the quotes. It’s useful when the phrase you’re using has more than one meaning. Not using quotes may yield you pages that are not relevant.

Example: “tuna sandwiches”

This will get you results of sandwiches stuffed with tuna instead of e.g. peanut butter.

2. Using an * asterisk within quotes to find a specific phrase

Using an asterisk (*) instead of the word you can’t think of will search all variations of that phrase. When you can’t remember the exact lyric to a song or an expression for example, you can use an asterisk.

Example: “a * of worms” 

This will only get you the correct expression “a can of worms”.

3. Using the minus (-) sign to exclude words

When you want to eliminate results containing a certain word, use the minus sign. Can be useful when you’re not interested in peanut butter, but you do want to search for sandwiches.

Example: sandwiches -peanutbutter

4. Using a tilde (~) to get results of synonymous pages

Adding a tilde to your search word makes Google show you all the pages that contain words that are synonymous to your search word. In math, the tilde symbol means “is similar to”. For example, if you’re looking for food facts as well as nutrition and cooking information, use a tilde in front of the words “food” and “facts”.

Example: ~food ~facts

5. Searching specific websites

When you want to see only results from a specific website, you type in the name of the word that you’re looking for, followed by the word “site” and a colon (:), followed by the name of the particular website. So if you want to see all the times CNN mentions Donald Trump, type in:

Example: Donald Trump site:CNN.com

6. Using OR

When you’re looking for two or more terms to match your results, you can use OR. Make sure you capitalize OR, otherwise it doesn’t work. This makes Google show you all the terms specified in the search.

Example: Tuna OR Sandwich

You’ll see all results that match with tuna, and sandwich.

7. Using ‘vs.’ to compare foods

When you want to compare foods, use “vs.” (without the quotation marks). For example, when you want to see what’s healthier for you, tuna or chicken , type in:

Example: tuna vs. chicken

This makes Google come up with all the nutritional facts of both tuna and chicken.

8. Using ‘define’ to look up the definition of a word

define jpg

When you don’t know what a words means, use “define:”. Google will not only come up with the definition, but it will show you how to pronounce it (including sound), the synonyms and the origin of the word.

Example: define:etymology

9. Search for words in a text

If you’re looking for pages where all the words you’re looking for appear in the text of that page (could be in a random order), type in “allintext: directly followed by the words you’re looking for.

Example: allintext:peanut butter jelly sandwich

10. Words in the text, title or URL

Want to find a webpage where one word you’re looking for appears in the URL and one words appears in a title or somewhere else on that page? Type in the first word you’re looking for followed by “intext:” followed directly by the other word you’re looking for.

Example: tuna intext:sandwiches

11. Words in the title only

If you want to search for the words (in random order) only in the titles of websites, type in “allintitle:” followed directly by the words.

Example: allintitle:tuna sandwich

12. Words in URL only

You can do the same as you did with #10, but this relates to the URL only.

Example: allinurl:tuna sandwich

13. Related Search

Are you looking to find new websites with content that is related to a website you already know of? Use “related:” directly followed by the website you already know.

Example: related:cnn.com

14. Using (..) to search in a range of numbers

You’re looking for a motorbike in the price range $1000 to $1500, or you want to find the year that the landing on the moon took place? Use a number range specification with “..” in between the two numbers of your range, without using space.  

Example: secondhand motorbike $1000..$1500

Example: Landing on the moon 1900..2000

15. Searching through Google’s news archives

Looking for old news items? Search the Google News archives that go back to the mid 1880’s. You can look through 100 years of archived news from newspapers around the world.

16. Finding related sites

If you want to get results of sites that are related to a specific domain you can use “related:”.

Example: related:CNN.com

17. Searching for information about a certain domain

Do you want to get more information about a specific page? You can see Google’s cache of the site (memory of the site), pages that are similar to the site, pages that link to the domain that you searched for, other pages on the site and pages that contain the domain text on their page.

Example: info:CNN.com

18. Searching local cinema times of a specific movie

movie jpg

Want to go to the new Wonder Woman? But you don’t know when and where it plays? If you use “movie:” followed directly by the name of the movie and the desired location, Google shows you all the pages containing information about where you can see the movie and at what time.

Example: movie:wonder woman Singapore

19. Searching for the weather forecast

A simple but very useful trick, use the operator “weather:” followed directly by the desired location to make Google come up with results both for the specific location on weather websites, as well as a weather widget at the top of the Google results page.

Example: weather:singapore

20. Searching for the cache of a site

This shows Google’s most recent cache of a website.

Example: cache:CNN.com

Step 3: Use other Google search features

Google has a ton of other handy search features. Here are some examples. For a full overview of all Google’s features go to https://www.google.com/intl/es419/insidesearch/tipstricks/.

1. Convertions

convert jpg

Do you want to know the number of miles in kilometers? Or convert Fahrenheit to Celsius? Type in the first unit followed by the word “in” or “to” and then followed by the second unit. Super useful.  

Example: mile in kilometer

Example: fahrenheit to celsius

You can do this with the following units:

  • Area (e.g. square foot to square mile)
  • Currency (e.g. British Pounds to US Dollars)
  • Data transfer rate (e.g. kilobyte per second to gigabyte per second)
  • Digital storage (e.g. megabyte to gigabyte)
  • Energy (e.g. joule to kilocalorie)
  • Frequency (e.g. hertz to kilohertz)
  • Fuel economy (e.g. kilometer per liter to US miles per gallon)
  • Length (e.g. foot to yard)
  • Mass (e.g. pound to ounce)
  • Plane angle (e.g. degree to radian)
  • Pressure (e.g. pascal to bar)
  • Speed (e.g. miles per hour to kilometers per hour))
  • Time (e.g. second to minute)
  • Volume (e.g. tablespoon to fluid ounce)

2. Use the mic icon if you can’t type

google mic jpg

Too lazy to type? Or you want to spare your wrists a little? Click on the microphone icon in the search bar, and just tell Google outloud what you’re looking for.

3. Use the calculator

Next time you need to do a quick calculation, type your expression into the Google search bar. For example: 30010 * 1,5

Or use the built-in calculator by typing in the word “calculator” in the search bar. Google then comes up with this awesome calculator:

calc jpg

Step 4: Using the Advanced Search Form

If you can’t remember the operators, you can also use Google’s Advanced Search form.


Go to https://www.google.ca/advanced_search and fill in what you need.