I won't start this article telling you that you don't know how to use Google. Yes I will, it's true, you really don't know what you don't know. Don't kick yourself though, the good news is that once you understand all the additional ways you can search more specifically on Google you'll be that much better at finding stuff!
The truth is that Google and other search engines like Bing & Yahoo are much more intelligent than you think they are. By properly highlighting, accenting, and orderiong your phrases you can add emphasis, exclude specific words, and generally bring more relevant results to the top of your search results page.
It's not that the way you and every other person on the world wide web is searching incorrectly, you're just not helping search engines as much as you could. Here's some instructions on how to use Google on a deeper level, these four methods of search will surely help you find what you're looking for more effectively.
4 Ways to Make Google Work For You!
Method 1: Site Specific Search
This method is for better digging through deep websites you already know about. Assume you're navigating through our website and can't find our page about SilverStripe CMS. You've heard we do a fantastic job with web design but you're apprehensive about whether SS3 is right for you.
- to search within a specific site type something like this: "silverstripe cms" site:www.revriv.com
By adding the term you're looking for in quotes and directly referencing the site you want to surf you can in effect perform a full search of the site for just what you're looking for.
Method 2: Explicit Phrase Search
When most people search for something they simply type in what they're looking for. Simple enough right, Seattle Sports Medicine. If you'd like to bring up even more accurate results try searching explicitly for the keyword phrase you're interested in.
- instead of Seattle Sports Medicine try "Seattle Sports Medicine"
The results can be much different, see them in order:
Compare these results to the explicit phrase search:
If you're really looking for the best option in sports medicine I'm betting you'd be more interested in starting with a result like Angie's List. This is an option you wouldn't even have found with the first search option, starting to believe?
Method 3: Exclude Words Search
There may be certain instances where your initial search is bringing back too broad of results, and you're noticing that many of the top listings are more about something else. For example, maybe you're looking for Denver Marketing Companies and instead you're getting lots of advertising agencies mixed in. You're not looking to buy adspace, you're looking to launch a kick ass inbound marketing campaign, so this just will not do....
- to exclude a word, add it to the end with a hyphen: denver marketing firm -advertising
Ah that's better, Revenue River Marketing sitting right at number one! Don't like the results you're getting? Just add the '-badword' to the end of your search and reap the rewards of improved searching.
Method 4: Synonyms & One-offs
If your goal is to include similar words or synonyms along with your search results try working in the '~'. You know, the wavy symbol to the left of your '1' key that you haven't used since Spanish class. Just put the true keyword you're trying to search for in parenthesis as usual and add the ~ similar word you're looking to get some results for.
- start with your keyword "Denver marketing"
- add ~ and the related word you'd like to bring to the top
- final product: "denver marketing" ~ web design
The results from Denver marketing by itself compared to Denver marketing ~ web design are really quite different, adding the extra 'arrows' pointing more toward what you want is how you find the really relevant results you're looking for.
I hope you found these little search engine tips valuable, and I bet you learned something today you didn't know yesterday. That's what an Introduciton to SEO is here for, if you're ready to get better at marketing your company please subscribe to our blog and follow us socially.