Google Speed-Search Lesson #3 – Negation

This is the third part in my Google Speed-Search series. Here are the first two parts if you missed them:

Remove unwanted results with negation 

This lesson introduces negation, i.e. using a minus sign (-) to specify terms you don’t want to appear in your search results. This can be useful when your results are cluttered with unrelated websites. Consider these examples:

Note: There should be a space before the minus sign, but not after.

Ice Age -movie

Despite Ice Age being a popular movie for kids, if you want information on the real ice age, you should remove the word “movie”.

Japanese cars -used

Searching for Japanese cars brings up a bunch of websites selling used cars. If you’re just interested in learning about Japanese cars, remove the word “used” from your results.

football -nfl -american

For English football, or soccer, do a search for results that don’t contain “NFL” or “American”.

"birthday cards" -free -ecard

Wrapping “birthday cards” in double quotes will make sure all the results contain exactly that phrase. Of course, if you’re looking to buy a traditional birthday card, you don’t want results containing “free” or “Ecard”.

Using negation, it’s easy to remove what you don’t want:

US President -"George Bush" 😉

Next: Google Speed-Search Lesson #4 - Stop Words

If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!

2 thoughts on “Google Speed-Search Lesson #3 – Negation

  1. That is a useful tip Nick and just tried it. I often search for things and constantly have to weed out stuff. It does speed up the process of finding what I really want!!
    Geez how do you know this stuff!!!

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