Use Google to its full potential

Use Google services to their full potential

Google is probably the best and most powerful search engine, but it provides so many results it can become confusing. If you never quite find what you are looking for, do not give up just yet. You are about to learn some tricks to become a Google search master.


1) Google operators. They are words and punctuation that call for specific results. This way, you can actually tell Google what you are looking for.

Quotes Many of you know probably already that when you put an expression between quotes on Google, it will look for that specific expression. Just see for yourself the difference between red black and "red black"

+ will look for a specific word, not its other forms (plural, different verb forms...). Window vs. +Window

- will ban a word from the results. Yellow phone vs. Yellow phone -pages

intitle: will search for a word or expression in the title of the page. "Take a virtual tour" vs. intitle:"Take a virtual tour"

inurl: will search for a word or expression in the URL (web address) of the page. freeware vs. inurl:freeware

site: will perform the search within a specific website. Firefox vs. Firefox

You can now combine all those operators together to search for exactly what you want. For example: intitle:Firefox -"Firefox 4"

This article will give you some more tips:

There are dozens more Google operators in case you're interested: and


2) Gmail operators

One of gmail's greatest strengths is that its search engine is powered by Google. With it, you will not have to browse through your whole mailbox to find a specific mail.

from:, to:, subject:, filename:, in:, is:... If you want to learn Gmail operators, visit this help page:


a. is:unread in:inbox = Unread messages in inbox

b. from:john filename:pdf = all the messages coming from John with a pdf attachment

c. after:2011/01/01 before:2011/03/01 from:me to:Mary = All the message sent from you to Mary between January 1st and March 1st.


3) More tips

There are thousands more ways to improve your google search. 

a. Check the left panel to discover available options. Limiting the results to the past year can prove very useful sometimes.

b. Google images is a powerful search engine for graphics. Pick a color, search for a specific resolution, and discover the new "sort by subject" option.



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