Dharmesh Shah at Small Business Hub has pulled together some handy tips on how to search Google like a pro.
Rather than simply typing in a couple of keywords and refining them to find what you're looking for, he points to a number of ways to search Google more accurately.
Here are some examples:
Use explicit search phrases
For example, if you are searching for content on internet marketing, then enclosing the phrase in quotes will make the search more accurate.
E.g. "internet marketing".
Exclude words from the search term
This is useful if you want to search for terms while avoiding results that contain a related word.
E.g. internet marketing-advertising.
Search a specific site
If a site you want to search doesn't have that feature, then you can use Google.
E.g. "SEO" site:www.e-consultancy.com
To quickly search for a definition of a word, use the "define" command.
Find similar words
If you want to include synonyms in your search results, use "~" before the word.
E.g. “internet marketing” ~ advertising.
Specific file types
If you are looking for a particular document type, use the "filetype" command.
E.g. “internet marketing” filetype:ppt.
Search engines as doorways to the web