Sometimes even “Googling” something doesn’t result in you finding what you’re looking for as fast as you need it. If you’re not the savviest with Google or the internet in general, here are seven great Google Search hacks to make finding what you want even easier.

1. Use Quotation Marks

Say you’re trying to find something specific like a phrase or an article from a certain publication, using quotation marks in your search terms will help Google identify that exact phrase.

Place quotation marks around single words or an entire phrase. This helps Google eliminate guesswork when trying to find what you’re looking for.

For example, say you search for Striped Kid Pajamas. If you enter this phrase without quotations around it, Google will search for those words in any order. This could bring you very different results than you intended.

However, if you type in, “Striped Kid Pajamas,” then Google knows to look exactly for a child’s pajamas with stripes on them.

2. Use Google Drive on Your Desktop

This awesome hack doesn’t deal directly with finding what you need via Google search, but it does make finding things with Google Drive much easier.

When you’re in your Google Drive online, try downloading it and installing it on your computer. This will speed up your work and search big-time as you no longer need to log-on to the internet each time you need to find a file that’s saved in your Google Drive.

Using your Google Drive on your desktop, you can automatically upload files to the Cloud just by dropping them in your Google Drive folder. The Google Drive for Mac is especially efficient at cutting the time you spend searching for necessary files.

3. Exclude Words Using a Hyphen

Sometimes we have to search for words that can seem ambiguous to Google. For example, if you search for the word, Jaguar, Google may pull up results for everything from jungle cats, to NFL teams, to cars.

Fortunately, this can be remedied by using a hyphen when searching to eliminate unwanted results.

For example, if you search for Jaguars -cars then you will only receive results about Jaguars that do not include cars.

4. Use Google Tabs

Have you ever noticed that at the top of the Google Search bar are several tabs? They only appear once you enter the search word or phrase you’re looking for. Once you hit “search,” you’ll see tabs labeled everything from: News, Images, Books, Blogs, Videos, and more.

If you are looking for a specific type of content you can select that tab. Say you want to search something like, “Apollo 13 Space Mission.”

Once you enter that term, you can choose whether to see images, news articles, or videos of that event. It’s a pretty nifty tool to help you narrow your search even more and discover a world of content you may never have noticed.

5. Discover “Related” Sites

This is one of the more underused, but awesome Google search hacks available for anyone. If you want to find websites that are similar to another, you can use the following style of search:

Related: ebay.com

Searching this phrase with the word “related” followed by a colon and the website URL will not give that website. Instead, it will pull up a list of any and all websites that are similar to eBay.

It’s an awesome way to compare competition of websites and services, but also find alternatives for items or products you may need.

6. Use a Colon and Search Specific Websites 

Do you want Google to search through a specific website to find the bit of content you are looking for? This trick is amazing. Simply add a colon to indicate the name of the website you want Google to search.

For example:

George Washington: History.com

This Google search will only bring you results on George Washington from History.com. This can be an especially helpful search hack if you’re working on something like a research paper and want to make sure your sources of information are valid.

Cut out the time-wasters by sifting through pages of results and go immediately to a website you know is reliable and search for the information you need.

7. Guess With the Asterisk

We’ve all been there, you can’t remember all the exact lyrics to a song but you just have to find it. Or better yet, there’s a common phrase you want to quote but you can’t recall it word-for-word.

Perhaps one of the most helpful Google search hacks out there, the asterisk tool acts as a place holder. Using an asterisk in your search enables Google to automatically replace the asterisk later on. Here’s how it might look:

“You get what you * for”

The asterisk acts as the place holder for a word. It tells Google that the asterisk could be replaced by just about any other word. More than likely, Google will discover the phrase you’re searching for but simply can’t remember: “You get what you pay for.”

More Google Search Hacks to Save You Time

With these 7 Google search hacks, you’ll feel like a pro as you maneuver the wiles of the world-wide-web. But, the truth is that there are several other Google search hacks you can use to simplify things.

You can use a link: (enter a URL here) to find webpages that link to your specified URL.  You can also use Google to search for answers to basic math problems. It’s crazy, simply enter the equations into Google search, and Google will compute them for you.

If these Google hacks have blown your mind, check out the Columns portion of our site for more fascinating reads. Happy searching!