Frequently Asked Question

Maximizing Your Google Search Results
Last Updated 7 months ago

A little known fact about those of us that work in IT is that we don't actually know everything. But we tend to be pretty good at knowing what to search for and how to search for it. Google is probably my number one resource on a day to day basis and there are many powerful features of the google search box you're probably unaware of. So here's a little blurb on how to best utilize the Google Search box to get it to find the results you're looking for.

Minimize Unnecessary Words in Your Query

One of the number one things I suggest to people to get better search results is to minimize your extra words in a query. Google has gotten much better at doing this for you behind the scenes now, but it still helps to try to cut down yourself as well.
So a search like "How should I optimize my Google Search results" could be shortened to "Optimize Google Search results". Getting rid of the unnecessary words will definitely help you dial in better results.

Get Results Only From a Particular Website

One of my favorite places to get help when I'm working on a tough programming question isĀ https://stackoverflow.com/. So often, when I'm searching for an answer to a question, I'll want to cut out the garbage and just get stuff from Stack Overflow. This can be done by simply adding "site:stackoverflow.com" to the end of the query. So a search: "Writing Hello World in PHP" would change to "Writing Hello World in PHP site:stackoverflow.com".

Removing a Particular Site From Results

I personally hate Pinterest for their spam in Google results. There are a plethora results that go to Pinterest that don't actually go to what you think they're going to and it drives me crazy. So often, when I'm searching for something and my results are filled with a website that isn't actually helping me find answers, I will want to remove that sites results from my list. This can be done by using the - sign as an operator. So a search for "Cool STEM Projects" would change to "Cool STEM Projects -pinterest.com"

Additional Operators

The above are my most frequently utilized operators when doing Google searches, but there are many many more. Far more than I can cover here. Feel free to check out the list linked there if you'd like to up your game even further with Google searching.

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