Skip to main content

6 Google tricks that you probably never knew

Following on from our 9 top tips to help you get the most out of Google, we now bring you 6 tips to turn you from a novice into an advanced Googler.

This article contains some less well-known tricks of the trade that will help you get the most out of Google and enable you to customise your searches like never before.

1. Search within a specific site

If you know that you want your answer to come from within a specific website, or specific type of website (e.g. .org, .edu), you can precede your query with "site:" followed by the appropriate webpage. For example, if you wanted to search ITProPortal for information on the cloud, you would type "cloud"

2. Search by file type

You can also search for specific types of files, such as PDFs, PPTs, or XLS, by adding "filetype:" and the 3-letter file abbreviation. E.g. "cloud filetype:pdf."

If certain words are essential to your search, such as "the" or "and," you can highlight them by putting quotation marks around them. You can also use the minus sign to specify particular items that you don't want in your results, e.g. typing in "bring –your own data" would exclude the word "your" from the search.

If you find a website you really like, you can search for similar pages by typing "related:" in front of the web address. For example, if you wanted to search for websites similar to ITProPortal (but why would you?), you would just have to type "" and you'll be shown a range of related websites.

5. Similar terms

Google can generate results that include synonyms by placing the "~" sign immediately in front of your search term. So, for example, a search for "wearable ~devices" will also return results for "wearable technology."

6. Hone in on a particular range

To specify a particular number range, type ".." followed by a space, then the numbers in your range. For example, if you're searching for iPhone models more recent than the iPhone 4, type "4..iphone" and the search will include all iPhone models above the iPhone 4, i.e. iPhone 5, 5s, 5c, 6, and 6 Plus.

Image Credit: Flickr/keso s