9 Tips to Help You Find Exactly What You're Looking for on Google Search

Do you ever feel like whatever you do, you can't find exactly what you're looking for in a Google search?

There is a lot of stuff on the internet, and sometimes, that can make digging for what you need extra tricky. But often, your difficulties lie less in the search terms you've chosen, and more in how they're actually typed into the search bar. Not sure what we mean? Keep scrolling to discover nine tips that will help you find exactly what you want in a Google search.

Shutterstock: Bangkok. Thailand. January 24, 2016:A woman is typing on Google search engine from a laptop. Google is the biggest Internet search engine in the world.
(via Shutterstock)

1. Finding Exact Phrases

If your searches are feeling a little imprecise, try putting quotation marks ("") around the most relevant part of your search terms to narrow down results and get something more specific to what you're looking for. The search will only include pages that have exactly those words in exactly that order, which just might help you find what you need.

Googling exact phrases


2. Finding Similar Phrases

Sometimes, trying to guess the exact words the creator of an article might use in the content you're looking for is half the battle. In those cases, it's super helpful that Google can find similar phrases for you. Use a tilde (~) in front of the search term you're unsure about, and Google will also include synonyms for that word in your results.

Googling similar phrases


3. Searching for This Or That

If you include two search terms in one Google search, Google will only include pages that include both of those terms. However, there's also an option to locate the most relative content that has either the first term or the second term. Just put a vertical bar (|) in between your two terms to make this possible.

Googling or


4. Excluding Terms From Your Search

Sometimes, searching for something specific on Google can be tricky because different topics include similar keywords to the ones you're searching for.  In that case, a minus sign (-) can be put in front of the word you don't want to search for, and Google will leave results with that word out of your search.

Googling minus


5. Adding Terms From Your Search

On the other hand, you might want to add additional search terms, rather than leaving them out. You can use a plus sign (+) before adding another term to make it a priority in your search.

Googling plus sign


6. Finding News Based on Location

In the case that you know where a news item happened, but don't know exactly how to track it down, there's a Google search trick for that! Simply type "location:" followed by the location, with no spaces next to your search terms to get what you're looking for.

Googling location


7. Finding Content on a Specific Website

Know that what you're looking for is on a specific website, but don't want to go digging around on that site to find it? Google has you covered there, too. After your search terms, type in "site:" and follow it up with the website name, without a space in between, to specifically search that website for those terms.

Googling site


8. Finding a Number Range

On certain occasions, you might find it useful to use numbers in Google searches. Instead of using | for "or" between every number in the range, you can use two periods (..) in between the two numbers to search all numbers within that range.

Googling number range


9. Searching Social Media

Looking specifically for someone's social media pages? Putting the at symbol (@) in front of the search term will help direct you to the social media pages of brands and personalities.

Googling searching social media


Spend a lot of time looking at computer and phone screens? Click HERE for our top tips on recovering from screen fatigue.