Google For Research – 7 Power Search Tips You Must Know

google search tips poster

The last two months, I have been quite busy preparing my research project report for my MBA summer internship. During its entire duration, Google was my best friend. I would spend a good 5 to 6 hours daily, searching for something or the other related to my project on Google. No doubt, it was a very tiring and frustrating experience. What could be more frustrating than spending hours on Google, searching for something and finally having nothing useful to conclude. Luckily, I knew some of the powerful search queries that made my research work a lot easier. In today’s post I’ll be sharing 7 of such powerful search queries with you!

The scope of these search queries is not just limited to making of formal research reports. In fact you can use most of them for day-to-day search purposes too…

1. Find the exact word/phrase/sentence

Sometimes we want to search for an exact sequence of words. To do this, all that you have to do is to type your search query within double quotes and hit enter. Here’s an example -

exact match search query example

As seen in the screenshot above, when fed with such a search query, Google returns all the relevant search results having that exact matched sequence of words. Nothing else!

2. Exclude a specific word from search results

Sometimes we may wish to exclude a certain word(s) from our search results. To do so, enter your search query followed by a minus sign and the word(s) that you may wish to exclude. Here’s another example -

excluding words in google search

3. Limit search results within a specific site

If you would like to restrict your search results within a specific website/blog, here’s what you’d enter –> site:websiteURL followed by your keywords

search results specific website

4. Search for a specific file name and type

Picture this – You’ve downloaded a file (that you’ve forgotten from where) and now you need to quote the source. What would you do? Here’s what you should do -

  • Locate the file on your computer. Right click on it, and in properties, copy the exact name of the file (the file must not be renamed). You should also note its type – PDF/PPT/Doc/etc…
  • Go to Google search and enter this search query –> copied-file-name” filetype:xyz  (do I need to say that you’ve to replace xyz with the file type? :))

file search on google

5. Search for the exact image

Sometimes you may wish to use an image in your research report. But, what if that photo is blurry/pixelated or it’s of very small dimension? That would certainly be unfit to be used in a formal report. Want the same image in a better quality and dimension? Here’s how Google can help you out…

  • Go to images.google.com
  • There you’ll find a small camera icon, inside the extreme right of the search bar
  • Click on the camera icon. You’d see two options – “Paste image URL” and “Upload an image” If you’ve found an image on a website that’s not yet downloaded, select “Paste image URL”. If you’ve already downloaded an image, select “Upload an image”

google image camera icon

Now sit back and let Google find out the sources having that exact image. Download any of those images that best satisfies your needs. That was easy. Isn’t it?

6. You don’t really need a scientific calculator

That’s because Google search has one inbuilt. That was nothing short of a surprise for me last week when i typed a complex calculation in Google search and hit enter! Voila :D

google calculator

7. Search for related websites

Are you looking for alternatives to a certain website/blog? Here’s what you need to do – type related:websiteURL and hit enter. You’ll be presented with a list of alternative websites by Google :)

Here’s an example -

related search query google

How do you search the web?

I hope these tips will definitely help you prepare your project report, effortlessly. And even if you’re not into any sort of research project reports, these tips can still help you search the web better! If you know any other power search tip that’s worth mentioning here, please let me know in your comments below…

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