Google strives to make it easy to quickly find whatever you're seeking, whether it's a web page, a recent news story, a photograph, advice, or a present for a friend. Google Guide's Cheat Sheet (classic.googleguide.com/cheatsheet.html), Google Guide's Advanced Operator Quick Reference (classic.googleguide.com/advanced_operators_reference.html), Google Guide's Calculator Cheatsheet (classic.googleguide.com/help/calculator.html), and Sacramento State's Google QuikRef (available from www.csus.edu/uccs/documents/quikrefsite/PDFs/googleqr.pdf or on the Google Guide site), provide nice summaries of some of Google's features and services.
The following table lists the major search services Google offers along with the URLs.
Search Service Description Website Web Search the web. This service includes shortcuts for finding commonly sought utilities and information, such as dictionary definitions, definitions on the web, news headlines, phone numbers, addresses, street maps, stock quotes, travel conditions, package tracking information, calculations of mathematical expressions, and translations of any text or web page. www.google.com Images Find images, graphics, photos, drawings, maps, etc. images.google.com Groups Search, browse, and participate in online discussions. This service is wonderful for finding advice, opinions, and recommendations that haven't necessarily been edited. groups.google.com News Search and browse online news sources. news.google.com Froogle Find and browse products for sale from across the web. froogle.google.com Catalogs Find and browse mail-order catalogs online. catalogs.google.com Directory Browse web pages by category. directory.google.com Answers For as little as US$2.50, obtain assistance from researchers with expertise in online searching. answers.google.com Google Labs Try Google prototypes and demos. labs.google.com
When you forget where to find one of Google's search tools or services, just look it up on Google. For example, if you don't remember the name or web address of Google product shopping search service, search for [ Google product shopping ].
|Implicit AND||Google returns pages that match all your search terms. Because you don't need to include the logical operator AND between your terms, this notation is called an implicit AND.|
|Exact Matching||Google returns pages that match your search terms exactly.|
| Word Variation||Google returns pages that match variants of your search terms.|
|Common-Word Exclusion||Google ignores some common words called "stop words," e.g., the, on, where, and how. Stop words tend to slow down searches without improving results. (Provided on all search services except Froogle).|
|32-Word Limit||Google limits queries to 32 words.|
|Term Proximity||Google gives more priority to pages that have search terms near to each other.|
|Term Order||Google gives more priority to pages that have search terms in the same order as the query.|
|Case Insensitivity||Google is case-insensitive; it assumes all search terms are lowercase.|
|Ignoring Punctuation||Google ignores some punctuation and special characters including , . ; ? [ ] < > @ /|
|terms1 terms2||with both term1 and term2|
| term1 OR |
|with either term1 or term2 or both||
[ Tahiti OR Hawaii ] |
[ Tahiti | Hawaii ]
|+term||with term (The + operator is typically used in front of stop words that Google would otherwise ignore or when you want Google to return only pages that match your search terms exactly. However, the + operator can be used on any terms.)||[ +i spy ]|
| ~|| with term or
one of its synonyms|
(currently supported on Web and Directory search)
|[ google ~guide ]|
|number1..number2|| with a number in the
specified range||[ recumbent bicycle $250..$1000 ]|
| "||with the exact phrase, a proper name, or a set of words in a specific order||
[ "I have a dream" ]|
[ "Rio de Janeiro" ]
| Advanced Search|
| Basic Search |
| Basic Search|
|with all of the words||[ tap dance ]||with all search terms|
|with the exact phrase||only with the exact phrase inside the quotes|
|without the words||
[ tap -dance ]|
[ -tap dance ]
|including none of the terms preceded by a -|
|[ tap OR
||with at least one of the terms adjacent to OR|
|Too many results? Focus the search by...||Too few results? Broaden the search by...|
|adding a word or phrase||removing a word or phrase|
|specifying the order in which you want words to appear||specifying words instead of phrases|
|using a more specific term||using more general terms|
|including synonyms or variant word forms or using a more common version of the word's spelling|
|limiting to a domain or site||broadening the domain or searching the entire web|
|limiting to a date range||removing date range|
|limiting where terms occur||removing redundant terms or splitting a multi-part query|
|restricting type of file||searching any type of file|
|limiting pages in a particular language||translating your search terms into other languages and searching for the translated terms|
|limiting pages to a particular country||searching the entire web|
Now that you've seen the versatility of the Google search engine, you'll understand why many users rarely use bookmarks and either use the Google Deskbar, the Google Toolbar, or leave their browsers pointing to Google; they can find practically any site using Google's many search services and features.
I sincerely hope that Google Guide has helped you become (more) proficient in using Google. I have tried to anticipate your questions and problems. Please let me know if I have missed something or if you have corrections or suggestions for improving Google Guide, by emailing feedback(at)googleguide.com (replace "- at -" by "@"). I welcome all comments. I look forward to hearing from you.
Hamish Reid, a principal at Mistrale, enhanced this site by improving its visual design and by making it easier to maintain and to traverse. I created most of the screen shots with TechSmith's SnagIt and resized and sharpened them with the powerful free viewer and editor IrfanView.
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By Nancy Blachman and Jerry Peek who aren't Google employees. For permission to copy
& create derivative works, visit Google Guide's Creative Commons License webpage.