You’ve planned your project or paper, and now you need to get the information you need to back up your work. Google is still your best friend when it comes to finding what you need, but can be frustrating when you need to dig through hundreds of websites to get accurate, reliable information. Here are a few tips to get you googling like a research wizard.

1. Use Quotes When You Google

This is called an exact phrase search. When you use quotes (“”) around your search phrase, google will look for the same words inside those quotes and give you only results that match them. E.g. “The History of Mummies” will look for search results that match this phrase exactly; whereas if you search the history of mummies, google will be searching for content that contains those words, and not necessarily in that order.

You can also use quotes to string phrases together for more complex searches or as a way to narrow down your search.

E.g. “Heart rhythm patterns” or “How does the heart regulate blood flow” Searching like this allows google to search for both of these phrases and will show you results for both.

2. Symbols

If you want to look for a specific term, but are getting very very mixed results, it’s time to start excluding words from your search. For instance, if you are looking for golf related topics or information you could exclude the word car from your search so that you don’t get car dealerships in your search result.

Using symbols allows you to add or remove items from your search.

E.g. “Golf” -cart

3. * Asterisk

Can’t remember all the words to that song you hear on the radio? Can’t remember exactly what your teacher said the mitochondria is? Use the Asterisk symbol to indicate a blank or assumed word.


E.g. All * want for * is * Should give you the words for Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas” track.

4. The Colon

If you’re looking for something that you’ve read on a site and you can’t remember where exactly it was, use the colon. Here google will search for a page on that site that contains your search phrase.

E.g. lady banana

5. Google Can Count!

Did you know that you can use google to do math? Well you can! If you need to do quick simple match, and don’t feel like writing it down or doing it from your head you can count on google. But, while it doesn’t solve all your math problems, it can give you formula.

EG: 5 * 6 + 1 – 3

Or Gravitational Constant

6. Number Range Search

Let’s say you’re looking for a range of dates well, did you know that google can search for ranges of numbers by using .. ?

E.g. Who won the Rugby World Championship ..2017
1 .. 09

The first instance tells google you only need to know who won in the year 2017, whereas 1 .. 09 will return results from 1 to 09 (ie: 1, 2 , 3, 4 , 5, 6, 7, 8, 9).

Usually just plugging a few words into Google can often get you what you need, but with so much Fake News and incorrect information floating around on the internet these days, these tips will turn you into a Search Superstar!

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