Improve Search Skills

Improve Search Skills

Improve Search Skills

With billions of results, and countless combinations of search terms, it can be tricky to efficiently and quickly find what you are looking for on the internet. Whether you are trying to find a delicious recipe, check your math homework, or find a specific tax document, there are many ways that  improve search skills today with Google Search!


When you keep your search terms short and simple, you are more likely to get a wider range of more applicable results. For example, instead of “snow storms that were historical” search “historical snow storms.”

Don’t Worry About Spelling, Case or Punctuation

Google has a lovely way of suggesting the correct spelling if you get it wrong. So if you are unsure of how to spell a word, type it into the search bar as best as you can.

There is also no need to worry about case. Searching for “new york city” or “New York City” will give you the same results.

If you are searching for an answer to a question such as “What does the fox say?” there is no need for a question mark. The same applies for other forms of punctuation such as a comma. Searching for “pittsburgh, pa” will work just as well as “pittsburgh pa.”

improve search skills

Search For An Exact Phrase

Using quotations for your search can do wonders! By putting quotations mark around your search term(s), google will specifically find results with that exact phrase. For example, searching “Nelson Mandela 1995” will bring up any website, document, video, etc. that has “Nelson Mandela 1995” in the text.improve search skills quotations

One thing to note with using quotations is that there may be some possible search results left out if you are very specific with the phrase. Searching “Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela” will bring up results that include his middle name, but not results that have simply “Nelson R. Mandela” or “Nelson Mandela.”

Search Within Location

improve search skills by location

If you are searching for a business, event or activity within a certain location, you can simply add the city and or zip at the end of the search. For example “wine tasting and education pittsburgh pa” will show you businesses that offer wine tasting and education in the whole city of Pittsburgh.

improve search skills by locationTo really specify a neighborhood, you can use the zip code, such as “wine tasting and education 15218.” Then you will find if a business is in this exact location, which in this case, Grape Thoughts is indeed a business in this neighborhood.

You can also search in broader terms, such as using the state. Searching “ski resorts wisconsin” will show you all of the ski resorts in that state.

Search by File Type

improve search skills by file typeTo find a specific type of file you can search the name of the file followed by “filetype:[3

letter abbreviation here].” For example “pittsburgh first works grant filetype:pdf” will bring up the PDF document in the first result.

Search Within a Price Range

If you are using google to shop around and want to find an item within a specific price range, you can plug in “$amount…$amount” after the item. Searching for “jet ski $800-$2000” for example will show you jet skis only in that price range.

Convert Measurements & Currency

improve search skills convert currency

Most likely, you don’t know all conversion off the top of your head and doing the math canbe even harder, but google search can easily do this for you as well. If you’d like to convert kilograms to pounds for example, you can type in “40 kilograms to pounds” and it will instantly give you the conversion. The same applies to converting money. Searching “dollars to euros” will give you the amount of euros that 1 U.S. dollar equals. In fact, when you search money conversion. you will also see a little graph that shows the rate change over the past few years.

Turn Google Into Your Calculator

Google can also be your calculator! You can plug in anything from addition and multiplication problems to trigonometry and calculus. An asterisk is used for multiplication such as in “8*3.14-cos(83)” and forward slash is used for division such as in “185/5.”


improve search skills translate

Need to translate text to or from a foreign language? Google search can do that too. You can begin by typing the actual phrase that you would like translated followed by “to [insert language].”

Advanced Image Search

improve search skills image search

Google’s image search has a lot of great features as well that can help you find the exact image you want and even one that you can rightfully use on a website, in a brochure, etc. Once you type in the image you’d like to find, for example “tulips,” you can then click on Search Tools located to the far right of the google search menu. A drop down menu will appear under which you can search for a specific image size, color, and type. If you are looking to reuse an image and need to find an image that is free to use, there is also a search tool for that called “usage rights.”

For a more advanced search with various specific search terms, you can utilized the settings tab  to the far right on the image search page. Once you do that you’ll select “Advanced Search” from the drop down menu.

improve search skills advanced image

In addition to the search tools on the previous page, there are other options for finding the image that you want.

improve search skills advanced image

Happy Searching!

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