5 Tips to Get Better Answers on Your Google Searches

A tablet showing the Google search home screen

Every day, millions of people use Google search to find online information that will help them solve a problem, answer a question, find a product or service, or simply look up funny cat videos. Although internet users have many search engines to choose from, Google remains the top platform people use to browse the internet.

Using Google search seems straightforward – you type a word or phrase into the search bar and Google shows you a (long) list of results. However, there are ways to use Google search more efficiently so you can cut through the digital clutter and quickly find the information you are looking for. Let’s dive into five tips to get better Google search results.

1. Choose Your Words Wisely

When typing an inquiry into Google, it’s important to use specific keywords or key phrases in the search bar that accurately describe the information you want to find. Google uses these words to search the internet for web pages that contain those keywords and serve them in the results in a matter of milliseconds. For example, if you want to find an Italian restaurant near you, the keywords are “Italian,” “restaurant,” and “near me” or your specific city. This will ensure Google gives you the results you are looking for in your top results.

2. Use the Tabs

When you enter a term or phrase into the Google search bar, a row of tabs will appear at the top of the search results: All, News, Images, Video, Shopping, and More (the order of the tabs may fluctuate). These tabs are intended to help you filter your results. For example, the News tab is the best place to search for an article from a news media website, while the Images tab will show you photos associated with the key words you used in your inquiry. You can also click the More tab to search Maps, Shopping, Flights, and Finance, depending on the topic of your search.

: A person browsing the web on a laptop while holding their mobile phone in their left hand

3. Add Quotation Marks

If you are looking for an exact phrase, you can refine your Google search significantly by putting the phrase in quotation marks. This tells Google to only provide results with that specific phrase, in the order that you typed the words. Take the phrase “dog sweaters,” for example. While these words without quotation marks will still give you sweater options for your dog, using quotation marks will reduce the number of irrelevant websites for you to sift through.

4. Exclude Certain Words

Occasionally your Google search results will produce topics that are close to what you searched for, but still not quite right. Let’s say you want to order bows online to decorate birthday gifts. However, simply typing “bows” into the search bar may include results for archery equipment. To narrow your search, use a hyphen in front of the word you want Google to exclude in your results. Typing “bows -archery” will help Google distinguish exactly what you are looking for.

5. Do Calculations and Conversions

In addition to providing a list of websites that are relevant to your keywords, Google can also be a resource for quickly calculating math problems and providing currency or measurement conversions. Type “17 Celsius to Fahrenheit” or “57 x 64” into the search bar and Google will quickly produce the answer for you.

These are only a few of the many ways you can use Google to use the internet more effectively. For additional tips, visit the Google Search Help page.