Googles new tricks

 

Google has a few tricks up their sleeves, and you probably aren’t using them. If you want to master the game of SEO, you ought to also be an expert searcher. The more you know about how the search engine allows folks to access the content they’re looking for, the more you know about peoples’ search patterns. Put this all together, and you can see how your business measures up.

You wouldn’t go into a job interview without first researching the company you’re interviewing with. Don’t attempt to become an SEO expert without fully understanding the power of Google’s search tool. Let the following well-known and lesser-known tips and tricks propel both your searching prowess and company SEO efforts.

Tip #1 Googles new tricks: Search Specific Websites

Shocking as it may be, some websites still don’t have search functions. Even some of those with the ability to search lack the aptitude to return relevant results. And hardly any of them are as powerful as Google itself, so why not always rely on the search giant to give you what you’re looking for?

To search only a specific site, rather than the whole web, include search:website.com and then your search terms. For example, here’s what an SEO search on SiteProNews would look like:

search:sitepronews.com SEO

Tip #2 Googles new tricks: Have Google Suggest Site, Product, and App Alternatives

Say you’re looking for competitors of a given product or service, but you don’t know offhand the actual brand names. Just ask Google – it knows the answers.

This kind of search has three potential options. We’ll use a search for Netflix competitors as an example.

Searching ‘Netflix vs’ will show you lots of comparison products. This search shows results for things like Amazon Prime and Redbox.
better than Netflix – similar to the first query, this option shows write-ups for products deemed better than your selection.
Netflix vs Redbox – shows you tangible results for an actual competitor.

Not only is this handy for searches in general, but you can keep tabs on write-ups regarding your competitors by staying current on these types of searches as they relate to your brand.

Tip #3 Googles new tricks: Find the People You’re Looking For

Names are tricky things, as they are rarely unique, and often reference actual places and objects. If you’re searching for “Bill Gates” and only want to return images of people, not pics of the actual gates, you’ve got options.

First, try typing in Bill Gates &imgtype=face – then click the images tab, and you should get what you’re after.
You can also click on ‘Search Tools’ then on ‘Type’ to search faces, line art, photos, clip art, line drawings, and animations.

Tip #4 Googles new tricks: Access Real-Time Results

Say you’re in the middle of a big PR push, and you’re wanting to monitor coverage and results in real-time. You likely already know you can click ‘Search Tools’ then on ‘Any Time’ to select the last 24 hours, week, month, year, etc. – but there’s a nifty search addition to the search URL that will let you customize this all the more.

Googles new tricks

Googles new tricks

To get real-time results, add &tbs=qdr to the end of the URL that is created for your query, plus the time frame you’d like to specify. For hours, type h and then the number of hours you’d like to cover (like h3 for 3 hours). For minutes, use n, and seconds, use s. For example, adding &tbs=qdr:h5 to the search query URL string for ‘SiteProNews SEO news’ provides results from the last 5 hours for the query.

Tip #5 Googles new tricks: All-Around Powerful

Like anything or anyone, sometimes Google just needs a little more of your guidance to give you accurate results. Most of us use quotes to narrow our results, but typing in something like “SEO tips” isn’t always efficient. While that query will eliminate articles that have SEO and tips listed separately but not necessarily in a relevant way, it does only provide results for that exact phrase. You’ll be missing out on important articles that have keywords like “Tips for SEO” and “SEO tricks”.

The solution? Type:

SEO AROUND(2) tips

as your query. This tells Google that you’re after articles that have these two words near each other, but not necessarily in order. You’ll expand your relevant search results significantly without adding in any clutter.

Tip #6 Googles new tricks: Eliminate Unwanted Words

Finally, to ensure words you don’t want to include are not in your results, use the -word addition. There are lots of ways to use this. Here are some examples:

Say you want to search for Paris, but without references to Paris Hilton. Your query looks like this:
Paris -hilton
Looking for recipe that excludes a certain ingredient? Use this as an example query:
recipe:salsa -tomatoes
You can also exclude results from a specific URL, like this:
Maleficent reviews -rottentomatoes.com

This will show you all movie reviews for Maleficent that aren’t on RottenTomatoes.com.

These search tricks should not only help you narrow you search queries into more relevant results, but they can help you become a more powerful SEO guru too. Dedicate yourself to knowing all you can about Google and its many search tricks and algorithm nuances, and you’ll be all the more adept at winning the game of search results.

What other query tricks have you found to be useful?  Googles new tricks

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