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7 Google Search Tips and Facts

If you use Google (and who doesn’t? Oh! well maybe these people don’t), here are a few simple, interesting and useful Google search tips and facts you may have forgotten all about:

  1. The asterisk is a search wildcard. For example, searching for three*mice finds three blind mice, three button mice, etc.

  2. Google search currently has a hard limit of 32 words – that’s keywords and special syntax combined. Search terms after the first 32 words are ignored.

  3. Google’s Boolean default is AND, which means that, if you enter query words without modifiers, Google will search for all of your query words.

  4. The Google synonym operator, the ~ (tilde) character, placed in front of any number of keywords in your query, asks Google to include not only exact matches, but also what it thinks are synonyms for each of the keywords. For example, search for ~legal, you will get results for lawyer, attorney, law, etc.

  5. Google is case insensitive. If you search for Three, three, THREE, even ThrEE, you get the same results.

  6. Numrange searches for results containing numbers in a given range. Just add two numbers, separated by two periods, with no spaces, into the search box along with your search terms. For example, If you’re looking to spend $800 to $1,000 on a nice 3 to 6 megapixel digital SLR camera, Google for: slr digital camera 3..6 megapixel $800..1000.

  7. Page size in Google results is never going to be more than 101 KB. That’s because Google doesn’t index more than 101 KB worth of a given web page.


Filed in Tips on 22 Aug 06 | Tags:

Reader's Comments

  1. |


    I did not know 1, 2, 4, 6 or 7. 4 and 6 are particularly powerful.

    Good article.


  2. |

    Hi, i searched for ~car

    and found as first link! funny Karl

  3. |

    Interesting i played with the slr stuff. even when i took ‘slr digital 9-11megapixel $900-$1300 always canon EOS 350 was on top and not my fvaourite NIKON D80. Playing with these paramters then lead me to a never seen google message :

    ‘We’re sorry… … but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can’t process your request right now. ‘

    Very interesting google hacking tips!! 😉 Karl

  4. |

    Hi Eddie,

    Great tips! The range operator is very helpful! The search “oracle dba pay $100,000..$300,000” was interesting! Also, lets not forget the direct proximity operator (double quotes) and the all-important OR operator:

    "virtual private database"|"row level security"|vpd|rls

    Also, the tilde is now a part of “automatic synonym expansion”, I’m told, using Princeton WordNet, the future releases will allo end-user control of the degree of synonym expansion:

    Finally, have you seen the latest scan where people are storing the results of Oracle Google searches as web pages to drive traffic?

  5. |

    Lewis, most people just type in the words they are searching for in the search box and hit the search button. I was one of them, until I dug a little deeper into what can be done with Google search if used to its fullest capabilities. It is very simple yet very powerful.

    Karl, looks like you brought Google to its knees 🙂 I also searched for ~car, and the first result was I guess Google returns search results based on the location where the query originated.

    Burleson, thanks for the extra tips and links, very helpful and useful.

  6. |

    Good article.