Google Search power-user tips and tricks

One of the essential skills of the 21st century is mastering how to carry out effective Google searches. Take some time out from your day to learn a few tips and tricks that will make your more effective.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Every day I get asked questions that are easily answered by carrying out a quick Google Search, and I wonder why someone took the time to write me a message when they could have gotten an answer much quicker by typing a query into the Google search box.

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I don't think that this is because people are lazy or unmotivated, after all, they took the time to write me a message. I think the problem is that simply typing a straight query into the search box sometimes isn't enough.

If you've never checked out Google's help page on using Google, then this is a good place to start. The information on search operators and filtering search results to narrow down the information you're presented are particularly useful and informative.

Master this stuff, and your search result success will improve dramatically.

Anther way to improve your searches is to go Google's Advanced Search page. Here you can carry out some pretty sophisticated searches without having to remember operators and so on. The page also contains useful tips and instructions on getting the most out of it.

Another great online resource for helping you get better search results is the MIT Libraries' Google Search tips page.

Once you've digested all that, another useful resource is Lifehacker's Google search efficiency tips, which offer advice on refining your results so you get the information you need. Most of the time you don't need to do this because if your queries are good, chances are the results you are looking for will be in the first couple of pages of the search results (I rarely go beyond page five or six of the search results).

Finally, if you know all this and just want a bit of fun, then check out all the cool Google Search Easter Eggs. Amaze and wow your friends!

And if you get people asking you questions that could be answered by a simple Google search, you could always send them the info by sending them a "Let me Google that for you" link.

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