Improving Search Results with Google

One of the most common ‘complaints’ I hear, particularly from users new to the IT world, is the difficulties they have finding information on the internet.

Obviously the main advice is to ensure that your searches are concise and that the correct words/phrases are used to try to tune in to the subjects that you are searching for.

However, a small feature that is not often used and little known, is the use of the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ symbols.

By adding a + symbol to your search you can enter words that MUST be included in your search. Similarly, by adding a – symbol you can exclude sites that include the search term prefaced by the – symbol

As an example let’s say you are looking for pictures of a jaguar, the wild cat variety not the car.

In Google Search – Images a search for jaguar will show this response, a selection of anything jaguar related:
However, if we tweak this to jaguar – car which excludes any site that also includes the term car then we get an improved set of results with far more being ‘cat’ related,

 That’s an improvement, but actually our best choice this time is to include the word cat so by changing the search term to jaguar +cat the results are modified to only show links to sites that include jaguar AND cat. As a result almost all of our pictures shown are jaguar cat related.

 Happy searching

Taff Lovesey


About taffybach

Author of the young adult fantasy novel series, The Portal Chronicles, including The Spider Gem and The Shimmering Gate. When not writing and promoting Taff runs a small IT support company, LITES PC based in Bourne UK.
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