Learn Google-Fu

You too, can master the skills of searching on Google!

Note: DO NOT add the “Search Bar|” in the Google Search bar when testing, you can copy and paste after
“Search Bar|”

1. Search for an exact word or phrase; Use quotes to search for an exact word or set of words on a web page. This is helpful when searching for questions, quotes, song lyrics or a line from a book or movie.

who is the best alarm company

Search Bar| “Who is the best alarm company in Hawaii?”

2. Search for a number range – Separate numbers by two periods without spaces (..) to see results that contain numbers in a given range of things like dates, prices, and measurements.

alarm monitoring in hawaii

Search Bar| alarm monitoring hawaii $1..$30

3. Add a dash (-) before a word or site to exclude all results that include that word: If you wanted to search for an affordable wireless security system in Hawaii, but did not want to include ADT and Vivint in your search results, you could try:

affordable wireless

Search Bar| affordable wireless security systems in hawaii -vivint -adt

4. Search a specific site – This is useful if there are multiple services and/or products that you want to search for that might have the same keyword in the search results; suppose you wanted to search for anything that contains wireless at
artelisys.com but did not want to include security systems:

site artelisys.com

Search Bar| site:artelisys.com wireless -“security system”

5. Ever need to find a specific file type and/or topic? Consider finding a PDF document that has a topic of tomographic motion detectors.


SearchBar| -inurl:htm -inurl:html intitle:”index of” pdf motion detectors

6. Fill in the blank – Add an asterisk within a search as a placeholder for any unknown or wildcard terms. Use with quotation marks to find variations of that exact phrase or to remember words in the middle of a phrase.

like father like son

Search Bar| “Like * like Son”

7. Knowing which words to search for means understanding their meaning. Typing define

[search term] in Google search will offer dictionary definitions.


Search Bar| define Motion Detector

You can define lingo too!

Search Bar| define pwned

8. Force Google to include search terms. – Sometimes Google tries to be helpful and it uses the word it thinks you’re searching  for — not the word you’re actually searching for. Basically, a website will sometime not include all of your keywords in the search results.


Search Bar| intext:”Professionally Installed” alarm system in Hawaii

9. Search for either word – If you want to search for pages that may have just one of several words, include OR (capitalized) between the words.


Search Bar| “home alarm systems” intext:hawaii 2013 OR 2014


Google has a set of operators (you can recognize them by their trailing colon) for refining searches according to different aspects of the pages found. As already describing some of them above, in most cases these are usually only marginally useful.

  1. site: – this operator filters out only those pages whose website name (partially) matches the pattern. So, if you only want to find pages that were on engineering on US university websites, searching for site:.edu engineering should do the job. The OR operator works on this, so searching for site:illinois.edu OR site:mit.edu engineering will find engineering pages on Illinois and MIT university webpages.
  2. intitle: / inurl: / intext: / inanchor: / allintitle: / allinurl: / allintext: – these tell Google where to look (and, conversely, where not to look) for the keywords you specify. So, searching for allintitle:”security alarm systems hawaii will list all the webpages in Google’s index that contain the words “security alarm systems” and “Hawaii” in the title. Not very useful, but might possibly save the day.
  3. filetype: – if you are trying to find (say) a pdf containing the phrase “L5200 user guide”, then Googling for filetype:pdf L5200 user guide should work OK.
  4. date: – very useful for finding things within the last N months. Not very useful otherwise.
  5. daterange: – very useful for finding things within a range of dates. Sometimes a big help!
  6. The tilde (‘~‘) operator forces Google to look for synonyms, even when it doesn’t itself think the word is ambiguous.