How to use Google search effectively

searching GoogleLife without Google is almost unthinkable these days. We use Google to answer everyday questions and problems, find stores, shops and products, leave customer reviews and translate whole articles into different languages. Worldwide, users make trillions of searches each year. However, we often have to undertake several search queries to find what we are really looking for. The following tips and tricks will help you use Google Search more effectively.

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Explore How Search Works

Google has dedicated a whole page to taking its users through the search process. How Search Works explains in detail how the search engine aims to provide you with the best possible answers to your queries, how it protects your privacy and how different search features such as the knowledge graph or featured snippets deliver results tailored to your needs.

Add parameters

Google search parameters are special commands that can help you refine your search results. For example, putting a phrase into quotation marks results in Google searching for that exact phrase. Using the words “interior painter” will exclusively produce results that contain these exact words, whereas searching without quotation marks will produce much broader results, pages that have the words interior and painter.

Use advanced search

Using Google search in advanced mode will give you more control over your search. This feature allows you to narrow down results by language, region and other parameters. You can also search for websites from a specific domain or documents that were published within a specific time frame. For example, if you need to find out about something that happened recently, you can use the advanced search to display only results from the last hour, day, week, month or year. You can also set your own custom dates.

Eliminate unwanted results

Just like adding parameters to refine your search, you can also eliminate results that are likely to show up but won’t be of any use to you. By using a minus symbol in front of a phrase, you are telling Google to omit that phrase from your search. For example, searching for roofer in Auckland -long run will exclude roofers that offer long run roofing.

Be specific

People tend to search with either too few words, the wrong words, or irrelevant words. If you’re re-decorating your home, typing in “decorators” might find you what you’re looking for. If you need a painter and it comes up with some, then great! But it might also show you interior decorators, cake decorators, programming advice and event managers. The more specifics you add to your search, the more likely you will end up with results that are actually valuable.

Set your location

In 2009, Google updated its search page to include a location setting. This feature allows users to control their location preferences and see more relevant results based on their current location. To set your location for Google search, go to At the top left, in the address bar, click on the lock and wait for the popup window to open. Under site permissions, allow location for

Search in your country

If you are specifically looking for search results from New Zealand, use instead of Alternatively, put nz at the end of your search result to tell Google you want national results rather than global ones.

Image search

Sometimes, the traditional web search might not produce the results you are looking for. Visual or image search can enhance your results and works in 2 different ways. You can either explore visual search results from your original web search or use an image as your query input. Simply upload a picture from your computer or paste an image link from another website. Google will then show you similar images or web pages that contain the image. For example, you can take a picture of an animal with Google Lens to search for further information on the animal.

Other Google search types

In addition to the basic web search and image search, Google offers a range of other searches to help you find more information about your search query. Simply access the respective tab from the main Google search page.

  • Video search: This feature shows videos related to your search query from sources such as YouTube and Vimeo. Results can be filtered by factors such as duration, quality, source and upload date. You can also preview videos by hovering over them with your mouse.
  • News search: This feature shows news articles related to your query from sources including newspapers, magazines and websites. Results can be filtered by factors such as date, source and region. You can also browse news by topics such as world, business or sports as well as customize your news preferences.
  • Shopping search: This feature shows products related to your query from various online and offline stores such as Amazon. You can compare prices, browse reviews and look for items from specific categories such as electronics or dining. Shopping search also allows you to customize your preferences to narrow down results according to your needs.
  • Book search: This feature shows books related to your query from different publishers, libraries and authors. Results can be filtered by factors such as source, title and publication date. From the book search tab, you can preview, buy or borrow books as well as browse specific genres.
  • Scholar search: This feature shows scholarly literature related to your query from sources such as articles, books and dissertations. Results can be filtered by factors such as date, relevance and citation count and you can browse literature by categories including engineering, social sciences and health.

This might sound overwhelming for some, but searching on Google doesn’t have to be hard work if you know what you’re doing. If you would like to find out more about getting the most from Google, contact the friendly team at Energise Web today. We specialize in web design and website development and offer a wide range of services including copywriting, SEO and digital marketing.

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