Google Speed-Search Lesson #6 – Wildcards

Here’s part six of my Google Speed-Search series. In this lesson, we’ll use wildcards to speed up our searches. A wildcard in Google is represented by an asterisk (*) and used instead of a single word. Consider this search: “Mount Fuji is * high” This phrase search forces Google to return web pages with the exact phrase above, but replacing the wildcard with any word. Here are some examples of […]

Google Speed-Search Lesson #5 – Case Sensitivity

Here’s part five of my Google Speed-Search series. This post answers the question, is a Google search case sensitive? What difference does case make? Some search engines will return different results depending on whether you use upper or lower case characters. So, for example, if you type apple you’d get results for the fruit or technology giant. If you typed APPLE however, you’d get results for the Association to Promote and Protect […]

Google Speed-Search Lesson #4 – Stop Words

In this fourth part of my Google Speed-Search series, we’ll take a look at stop words – words that Google ignores. What words does Google ignore?  There doesn’t seem to be a public list of Google stop words available (although I did find this), but words like the, is, are, that, on, in and with are very likely to be ignored. Numbers and question words, too, seem to be considered as stop words. […]

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: Google Speed-Search Lesson #1 – Phrase Searches Google Speed-Search Lesson #2 – Boolean 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. […]

Google Speed-Search Lesson #2 – Boolean

In Google Speed-Search Lesson #1, I showed you how to do phrase searches. In this lesson, we’ll look at basic Boolean, i.e. using uppercase AND and OR in our searches. Let’s imagine you’re British and you want to find websites about Father Christmas, you might start with this: Father Christmas What you’re really telling Google is to search for any website that contains the words Father AND Christmas, not necessarily together, […]

Google Speed-Search Lesson #1 – Phrase Searches

When I was in Secondary school, my math teacher gave us a peculiar exercise for homework. She wanted us to memorize the alphabet backwards before the next lesson. Not surprisingly, when that lesson came, there were only two of us in the class who had actually made the effort to remember our ABCs in reverse order. Thanks to that teacher, I have since been able to fire through a dictionary from either […]