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Navigate Google Like a Pro

With every passing day Google seems to release the next big ‘thing’ that everybody is talking about.  Google’s developments aside, knowing how to use the Google interface to its fullest capacity is an opportunity for all internet users to seek, gain and find information instantaneously whether web surfing in Vancouver or Bangkok. As such, here are a few common Google shortcuts as they relate to search engine marketing and positioning as well as general web search.

Search like a pro
Since it’s possible to find the answer to almost any question online, knowing how to get the answer quickly is better than searching for hours. With this is mind, here are a few hints savvy Googler hints:

  • If you type “starbucks locations” into the Google search box, Google will search the words Starbucks and locations.

  • If you’re looking for information on particular subject area and can't decide what words to submit in your search query, type both in the search box and Google will bring up search results for both words, for example  “jogging or running.”
  • For a broader search type “~blinds” into the search box and Google will search for the word blinds and its synonyms.

  • If you only want to search a specific phrase, use quotations. For example “to be or not to be.”

  • If you want to find out information about a particular subject area omitting certain results, type “brad pitt –angelina jolie” which will search “Brad Pitt” without “Angelina Jolie.”

  • Finally, if you want find an item which includes an associated number, type in the item plus the number, for example “naked gun +2” results in the movie “The Naked Gun 2.”

Search only one site
If you or your SEO colleague recently submitted your site to Google and you want to know if you’ve been listed, type “” into the address bar and Google will return all indexed pages of that site.

Check backwards links
When Google assigns pagerank to a webpage, the amount and quality of on-topic links to your site is of high priority. Therefore, to check how many backwards links are pointing to your site, enter “” into the address bar.

Find similar pages
If you are looking to get more information on a particular site and want to see related pages, enter “” into the address bar.

Find information about a webpage
If you would like to find a plethora of information about a particular website or webpage, type “” into the address bar.

Searching for keywords
One key tactic for properly for optimizing a site is using the appropriate keyword density. To find keyword information via Google, here are few tricks:

  • To search for keywords in a page title enter “allintitle:<keyword>”

  • To search for keywords in the body text enter “intext:<keyword>”

  • To search for keywords within a specific country enter “site: .ca “<keyword>””

Safe search
If you’re at work and want to find information about an everyday topic which may in some contexts contain adult content, type “safesearch:<keyword>” to find the information without the smut.

Define a word
Enter “define: <insert word here>” into the search box. Example: define: blog

If you’re without calculator and need to solve a quick equation, Google’s search box can be used as a number cruncher. Type 1+1 into the search box and see for yourself. To divide press the forward slash (/); to multiply press the star (*); to subtract press the dash (-); to get the percentage of a number press the percentage symbol and “of” (50% of 100), and finally, if you’re a real math wiz, you can raise numbers to a power by typing 2^6 which will say to Google: find me the answer for two to the sixth power.

On a similar note, other common equations are from Fahrenheit to Celsius, kilometres to miles and so on. To do a conversion of this nature, type “118 Fahrenheit in Celsius” or “1000km in miles” to get your answer.

Stock symbols
To find out the latest news or market fluctuation of your favourite stock, type “<stock symbol>” in the search box.

By Trish McCloy, writing for Stand Marketing, a Vancouver Internet Marketing Company. For more information on site maps and SEO, check out our list of search engine promotion services.

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