It’s nearly impossible to imagine a world without Google, but as of today, the search engine turns just 23 years old. This means most millennials can remember a world wherein we researched with physical encyclopedias — sans ‘search’ function — though a Google-less reality feels so far-fetched it’s almost more reminiscent of the dark ages than 1998.
Since its birth on September 27 of that year, Google has sky-rocketed to international fame — and necessity — with the term “google” evolving into its own verb, and subsequently, mainstream lexicon. The phrase “let me Google for for you” has become so pervasive there’s now an actual website — letmegooglethatforyou.com — that does exactly what it implies.
Despite the search engine’s popularity, however, one tech expert insists we’re actually using it all wrong. And considering how much we’re searching, which is a lot — Google processes 3.5 billion searches everyday, or 40 thousand searches per second — we could likely benefit from some of his tips on how to optimize Googling.
In a now viral Twitter thread, Chris Hladczuk, also known as the “frameworks guy” who shares inside tips and wisdom to his feed, wrote: “If you use it right, Google is the most powerful tool in the world. But the truth is most people suck at it.”
Fortunately, he didn’t leave us hanging, and proceeded to share eight essential Google tips to make searching the web easier.
First, Hladczuk revealed the importance of using quotation marks. “Put quotes around search terms to let you search exactly for that word. All results will have your terms in it,” he said. For example, if you search “John Doe” inside of the quotes, Google will only provide results with both words, instead of only “John” or “Doe.”
Next, Hladczuk suggested using dashes (this thing: – ) to exclude search terms from your search.He uses the example of searching “dolphins – football” when you only want to search the animal dolphins and exclude the football team with the same name.
Hladczuk advises using a tilde (~) for searching synonyms of a word — like classes, which will prompt similar phrases like courses, lessons, and coaching. Hladczuk also suggeste using Google to search within specific websites that may not have search functions. “Example: Kevin Ryan site:chrishlad..com,” he wrote. “This searches for Kevin Ryan mentions on my website (chrishlad dot com).”
There are ways to shorten how much to type in your searches, too, like using the vertical bar. According to Hladczuk, it works as a replacement for the word “or.” Similarly, using two periods allows you to search within two number hrases or yars.
Lastly, Hladczuk shared that you can search by location and file type. For location, you just need to include “:cityname” at the end of your search. And in order to filter by file types, you just need to include “filetype:[insert file type]” at the end of your search. For example; Looking for a PDF about The Spice Girls? Search “Spice Girls filetype:pdf.”
You learn something new everyday!