Most of the people don’t use the power of Google Search fully, there are many possibilities to improve the results when you search for something. You can use Google Search for gathering keyword ideas, getting a specific file without clicking through hundreds of websites, finding out who your competition is from Google’s point of view and much more. So let’s go through my top “How to search on google” list  that could be helpful for your next search.

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1. How do I get results which contain an exact phrase?

By using quotation marks in your search (“Rudi Bedy”) you will get only results where exactly this phrase has been used, in that order and the same words. You can also use this with only one word, this will only provide results without any autocorrect.

By not using quotation marks, Google Search will provide results which have those words but not in that order and not necessarily very close one to another.

2. How do I get Keyword ideas with Google Auto-suggest?

You first need to be in incognito mode, or be logged out and clear your cookies. This way the results will be untouched by your own surfing habits and preferences. To get keyword suggestions you will need to type in your focus keyword and then use an Underscore (Social Media _), google will then show you a few keyword ideas which are relevant from a search user’s point of view.

3. How do I search for a phrase when one of the words are unknown to me?

By using an asterisk (*) you tell google search that you need help into finding all the possible words that exist in combination with your own.

If you search for “Strawberry cake * my life“  , then Google search would give you results like: “Strawberry cake changed my life“, “Strawberry cake runs my life“, “Strawberry cake is my life“ or “Strawberry cake ruins my life“.

4. How do I exclude specific words from my search results?

So you are searching for something that has many meanings and you want to exclude some of the results which are not relevant to you.

In that case you need to use the minus sign (). Just type in what you want to search for and use the minus sign after that with the word you want to exclude from your search. Example: KeywordNegativeKeyword

If you want to exclude a specific website from showing up in your results, use:   Keyword -site: URL

5. How do I search for a number range?

If you want to search for a range of numbers, you need to use two periods  (..). 

For a range you have to write for example 20..100 years old, which shows you everything between those numbers.

For a number which is less than what you type in, you need to use the periods as a prefix ..20 years old .

For a number which is greater than what you type in, you need to use the periods a as suffix 50.. years old .

6. How do I search for files in Google Search? (Images, PPT, PDF…)

If you want to find a specific file via Google Search,  you need to restrict your search to a filetype.

For restricting the search to a specific filetype you need to search for: Keyword  filetype:pdf  OR Keyword  filetype:ppt OR Keyword  filetype:anythingother

7. How can I search for something on a specific website?

For searching only within a domain name, you need to use site:  and your query.

If you use only site:URL  , all indexed pages of that Domain will be shown to you. Example: 

If you use site:URL  and a keyword , then all the results within that website which are related to your keyword will be shown. Example:  macbook pro

8. How can I find out who my competitors are with Google Search?

To search for websites that Google sees as your competitors or websites that are similar to yours,  you need to use related:URL . This works only with Domain Names (URL) and not with keywords.


9. How can I see what a page looked like when Google last visited it?

This is pretty good if a website was shortly been changed and you need to see what information was changed or removed. This search operator shows you how the website looked like the last time Google visited it.

To use it, you have to type the following in:   cache:URL

For older versions of a page, I recommend using the Wayback Machine.

10. How do I search for results in a specific country?

If you want to see local results of your search you will need to do the following:

  1. Go to the country Google Page.  Let’s take UK as an example,
  2. Now search do your search. We will take Strawberry cheesecake. The URL looks like this:
  3. Now we want to limit the results only to local. That’s were we modify the URL, we need to add following to it &cr=countryUK . The URL looks like this

Attention: You always need to be on the local google page to do this. You always need to modify the country ID here &cr=countryUK .

Do you know other cool Google Search Tips which could help us? Then leave us a comment below.