As of November 29, 2013, the number of indexed pages on the internet was over 1.37 billion pages. That’s a huge amount of data to sort through when you’re looking for specific information. Fortunately, Google offers several search operators that make it easier to find what you’re looking for.
1. Search on a specific site
If you’re looking for information from a specific site or type of site, you can narrow your search by adding site: before the domain or extension.
- If you’re searching for information on living trusts, but only wanted to read articles from the ABA Journal, your search would look like this: Abajournal.com: living trusts
- If you only wanted to read articles on a government site, your query would look like this: site:gov (living trusts)
2. Search for a specific phrase
When searching for something specific, put your search parameters in quotation marks. Doing so tells the search engine to search for that explicit phrase. Searching for “law firm marketing” will return results for that exact phrase, while law firm marketing, without the quotes, will find pages that contain the words law, firm, and marketing.
3. Clarify your search
Add a hypen (-) before a word to exclude all results that include that word to clarify what you’re looking for. This is helpful if your search term happens have multiple meanings. For example, searching for bass will yield results about musical instruments and fish. Searching for bass –fish will exclude all of the fish-related results.
4. Discover sites that are similar to other sites
Everyone has a favorite site. Perhaps it’s a recipe site or one that focuses on college football. Wouldn’t it be great to find similar sites? The related operator (related:) makes that easy.
For example, when searching related:avvo.com you won’t find a link to AVVO. Instead, you’ll find links to similar sites like Martindale and Justia. The related operator is a great way to find new sites to browse.
5. Find specific types of files
Search for a specific type of file, such as a Powerpoint presentation or PDF by using the filetype: operator and adding the 3 letter file extension after your search term. Searching for wills and trusts filetype:ppt will return a list of Powerpoint files related to wills and trusts.
Holiday Bonus #1: Track your packages
Especially helpful during this holiday season, this search tip can be used to find out where your packages are. Enter any UPS, USPS, or Fedex tracking number directly into the Google search bar and you’ll find tracking information about your package. This is much easier than going to the individual shipping sites, especially if your packages are being delivered by multiple carriers.
Holiday Bonus #2: Check flight schedule and status
To see flight schedules to or from a particular destination, type flights from or flights to followed by the city or airport of interest. To view live arrival and departure information for U.S. flights, simply search the name of the airline and the flight number.
SEO and Social Media Manager
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555