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Shortcut to Better Google Results

Don’t search high and low to find what you want. Try these expert tips.

GoogleJohn Lawton 

If you’ve ever Googled the best way to Google on Google and come up short, follow these four tips from Randolph Hock, author of The Extreme Searcher’s Internet Handbook ($25, barnesandnoble.com). Then, learn seven surprising ways to utilize the Google search field.
 
 

To Find:  PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, or PowerPoint Presentations

Use: filetype:pdf, filetype:xls, or filetype:ppt
 Example: Canon manual filetype:pdf
 Why: If you include the file type in your search, Google will turn up only relevant files. For example, entering filetype:pdf will find all the PDFs that have to do with operating your new camera. (For Excel files, use filetype:xls; for PowerPoint presentations, filetype:ppt.)
 
 

To Find:  Narrowed-Down Information

Use: a hyphen (minus sign)
 Example: jaguar -cars -football
 Why: You want information about jaguars―the animal, not the car or the sports team. Placing a hyphen before terms you want to exclude will omit pages with those words. Type a space before the hyphen, but not after.
 
 

To Find:  A Product You Saw Online (But Can’t Remember Where)

Use: intitle:
 Example: intitle:“Frye boots”
 Why: Using the term intitle: searches the words in the title bar of Web pages and can be particularly helpful if you remember the name of an item you liked but not where you found it. Just be sure not to put a space after the colon and to use quotation marks around the phrase.
 
 

To Find:  A Verbatim Phrase

Use: quotation marks
 Example: “Bikram yoga”
 Why: Using quotation marks around a phrase or a person’s name can eliminate many of the irrelevant links you would otherwise turn up, says Hock.

  
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