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  • Writer's pictureMarie Robertson-King

How to be a Google Guru ...

How many times a day do you head to Google to search for something? I don’t know about you, but if I need an answer, Google is my #1 go to!

Google is the best search engine in the world … But are we using it to its full advantage?

Sometimes, the sheer volume of results is overwhelming, so it’s important to know how to refine the information you put in the search bar to ensure that you only get the results that are super relevant.

Below I’ve outlined a list of things you can do to help you be a Google Guru!

Quotation Marks

Placing “quotation marks” around a phrase will ensure that the exact phrase is included in the results. For example – “events Perth”


Using a – hyphen before a word will exclude it from your results. For example car -ford will give you results for cars but exclude Ford


Use site: to search within a specific site rather than the whole of the interwebs. For example, if you search Empress of Order site: humanitix you’ll only get results for my events on the Humanitix website


Search for something related to a particular location. For example – Coldplay location: Melbourne will only give you results for this band which are related to Melbourne


Search for something with a specific file type. For example if you know that you found a result before which had a pdf you can use your search term plus filetype: pdf to refine your search

Two periods or full stops

You can use two periods or full stops .. to search a number range. For example – Australian movies 1999..2002


Use an asterisk * as a wild card in a phrase if you can’t remember the whole thing. This is great for song lyrics. For example – “I don’t * go on and * me apart” will return Coldplay Sky Full of Stars

Vertical Bar

Use a vertical bar | as ‘or’ in a search term. For example – Facebook Ads | Google Ads will return results for both search terms


Use a tilde ~ to return searches with synonyms included. For example – cooking ~classes will return results for cooking classes, workshops etc

Plus sign

Use a plus sign + to return searches that have all the words on the page. For example business+stress will return pages that contain both of the words business and stress, even if they aren’t located together on the page

Search Criteria for Instantaneous Results

Now these next search criteria are brilliant as they allow you to find instantaneous results, with the information you need displayed right at the top of the search results. Try them out next time you need to know:

Weather [location]

Google will return the weather for the specified location

Time [location]

Google will return the local time in the location specified


Google will handle conversions for just about anything. GBP50 to AUD or 10 miles to KM


Use Google as a calculator. Use + for addition, – for subtraction, / for division and * for multiplication

Sunrise and sunset times

Sunrise [location] or sunset [location] will give you the relevant sunset or sunrise in local time


Ask Google to define a word. For example – define champagne


Google will translate most languages. For example – translate delicious to French

Package tracking

Just enter your tracking number in the search bar and Google will track it for you


Use Google as a timer or stopwatch. For example – 5 minute timer will bring up a timer with the ability to toggle to a stopwatch

So there you have it … If you’re anything like me, these search criteria are going to change your life!

Do you have any others that you swear by? Let me know in the comments below!



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Marie is a Virtual Assistant based in Perth

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