Saturday, 22 October 2016 15:25

10 Google search secrets

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Everyone knows how to pop a search term into Google and hit the search button, but very few realize the true power of Google. In this short-but-revealing gallery, I uncover 10 little-known facets of Google that are guaranteed to make even the most astute searcher abetter searcher. A few of the topics I will be covering are how to search FTPs with Google; how to block sites from your search results; and how to search Google Docs. If you're an advanced Google search novice, that's okay! Just be sure to read the recommended articles beneath each description in this gallery and they'll turn you into a pro in no time. And now, without any further ado, here are 10 Google search secrets.

How to block unwanted search results

Are there any searches you regularly perform that, no matter how much you refine the search query, you find yourself having to wade through the same garbage sites each time? Luckily, you don't have to put up with that any longer! Simply visit this URL, add the sites you would like to block, then never again worry about seeing them pollute your search results! To note, you can only block a total of 500 sites, but I've yet to come even close to hitting that limit.

How to block unwanted search results

How to search Google docs

If you're a document hunter like me, then you would undoubtedly enjoy searching Google Docs. The only problem is, if you visit the main Google Docs URL, you can only search documents of your own, or documents that have been shared with you. Fortunately, however, there's a nice little workaround: site:docs.google.com

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All you need to do at that point is enter the search terms you're interested in finding documents about and voila! For example, if you want to search for documents about Windows 7 on Google Docs, then you could try a query like this: site:docs.google.com "Windows 7"

How to search Google docs

How to search FTPs with Google!

You may be aware of the fact that Google indexes FTPs, but did you know you can prefix your search query with a little something that will show only results from FTPs? Until Google makes this an option (if they ever make it an option), here's how you do it with advanced operators:inurl:ftp -inurl:(http|https)

If you're interested in searching FTPs, I highly recommend reading my "Search ninja part 4: How to search FTPs with Google" post, where I dive deeper into this functionality and offer a couple of great FTP search engine alternatives!

How to search FTPs with Google!

Reverse image search: pure awesomeness

See the little camera icon to the left of the seach button in the image above? Go to the Google Images home pageand click that button. What you will see is a menu that asks you either for a URL or to upload an image. So, what good does that do you? Well, have you ever seen a tiny picture that you wanted to see full-size? Simply save that image or copy the URL to it, follow the prompt after you click that camera icon, then revel in the joy that is reverse image search!

That is just one of the many applications reverse image search is good for. Check out this post of mine, as well as the Google video below, for additional clarity and uses of reverse image search:

Reverse image search: pure awesomeness

How to view non-personalized search results

Tired of seeing search results that are filled with personal recommendations, auto-corrections, and more? Google quietly launched the "verbatim" tool a number of months ago to help you alleviate that. To use it, after you perform a search, on the left, you will see "More search tools." Click it and it will drop down to reveal the "verbatim" tool. Once you click "verbatim," your search results will refresh and yield unfiltered, uninfluenced search results. For more about the "verbatim" tool, click here to read Google's official announcement of it.

How to view non-personalized search results

 

How to quickly find a definition

Need to know the definition of a word? Simply head to Google and use the "define:" operator! For example, if you wanted a definition of ZDNet, you would search for the following: define:zdnet

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

How to quickly find a definition

How to view direct links in Google

One of my pet peeves with Google is that I can't just right-click on a link and choose "save target as." This is especially annoying when sifting through mountains of .ppt, .pdf, .doc,  and similar document/presentation filetypes. As such, I use a little trick with Firefox to allow me to quickly copy the full, direct link.

In the image above, you can see the title of the result that I have highlighted in addition to "oc" just beneath it. The trick is to start from where the "oc" is (which will be something other than "oc," if you're using a search result of your own) and highlight that one word plus the title of the search result. Then, you right-click on the word (noton the title of the search result) and select "View Selection Source" from the drop-down box. Firefox will take you straight to the section of code where the full link is displayed. You can then copy it and do with it whatever you so desire.

How to view direct links in Google

How to see results from just one site

Put simply, I find that Google knows most Web sites better than they know themselves. As such, I rarely ever use the built-in search functionality of a Web site. Instead, I opt for the site: advanced operator to filter results by the site I'm interested in searching, then follow it with the keywords I'm interseted in. For instance, if you want to search Microsoft's site for .pdf documents containing "Windows 7," you can simply run the following search query: site:microsoft.com filetype:pdf "Windows 7"

To note, Microsoft isn't the best example to give in this case, because they integrate their own Web search engine (Bing) to provide search functionality, as opposed to some small-time custom search built into only their site. Even so, the point remains!

How to see results from just one site

How to find educational documents and more

How often do you use the Internet to educate yourself? For me, the answer is "frequently." As such, one little trick I've come up with to dig up some great educational content is to search .edu domains (which belong to educational establishments). Let's say you're interested in learning about C++ programming and you would like to see "Introduction to C++" types of documents/presentations. All you have to do is perform a search query similar to the following: site:edu intitle:"Introduction to C++" filetype:pdf

Don't forget that there are many document/presentation file types you can search for as well! A variation of the search query above, to include additional file types, is as follows: site:edu intitle:"Introduction to C++" filetype:pdf | filetype:ppt | filetype:doc

How to find educational documents and more

Cached view: buried, not gone!

Remember the cached view? I've met a few people who were upset because they thought Google had completely done away with it! Hopefully, that will never be the case, but, for now, the "cached" functionality is still alive and kicking -- it's just slightly buried. Once you perform a search, if you hover over the search result you're interested in seeing a cached view of, you will see a rectangular box with two right-facing arrows appear. If you hover over it, you will see a site preview that shows you where on the page your search term is located. Additionally, for most pages, you will see a "Cached" link, as pictured above. Click it, and you'll be taken to the page as it's cached on Google's end.

So, there you have it! 10 Google search secrets to help make you a better searcher (or, at least, to help you improve your search results). If you found this helpful, please spread the word and be sure to check out the additional recommended reading provided with each of the points noted throughout this gallery. Thanks for reading and happy searching!

Cached view: buried, not gone!

Source: zdnet.com

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