I’m doing my best not to sound like a sponsored add, but how good is Google Search?  There is so much information at your fingertips.  No matter what you need to find, the answer will be available if you “Google it”.

However, there is one snag. There is just so much information that it can be quite difficult to quickly find the answer that best suits your needs.  A typical search on Google will give you approximately 3 million results (all under .90 seconds).  

I have written elsewhere about methods you can use to ensure your search results  are of good quality. This blog is not about that. It is about how using some of Google’s nifty tricks can help you narrow down your results.

Google (like all search engines) have a range of operator or qualifier terms which can help you pinpoint your search and find the information you need in next to no time.  Here are my top three go to search qualifiers I use all the time.

Search Qualifier 1: Define:

As a researcher I work with a lot of different businesses across a variety of industries, it is safe to say that I am not up-to-date with some of the specialised terms there are in some industries.  If I come across a word or phrase, I am not familiar with I’ll use the define qualifier.

e.g  if you are unsure what a franking credit is, you can type in the search box – define: Franking Credits, hit enter and you will be taken to a “featured Snippet” which will explain to you what a franking credit is.

Search Qualifier
The Google results for the search using the search Define “Franking Credits”

Search Qualifier 2: filetype:

 You can filter your search results by file types using the search qualifier filetype:  This is fantastic for locating all sorts of downloadable documents such as Policy Documents, Brochures and other business-related templates.

If you wanted to find downloadable PDFs featuring social media policies, you could search “Social Media Policy” filetype:pdf

This works with most document types. You can find a comprehensive list of  searchable file types here.

Search Qualifier 3 Related

Found a website you like, but are wondering if there are other websites covering similar topics? Try using the related qualifier.

e.g related:canva.com will give you other picture editing and graphic design sites such as Snappa and Unsplash.

This is qualifier is great for finding out who your competitors are.  Try it. it is great.

Online Research Matters

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