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There’s a reason Google is the world’s biggest search engine. And that’s because it’s pretty good at doing what it does. Most times, you can tap a few words into the Google homepage and it comes up trumps – no matter whether you want a dog on a skateboard or the UK’s population growth rate.
But sometimes, Google doesn’t perform. And that’s when knowing some Google search tips can reveal what you’re looking for.
One of the best ways to home in on the results you need is to start using operators. Entering these special codes into the Google search box tells Google how to restrict its search results. Here are some key operators:
Try it: search for “Illy espresso medium roast” to find a particular type of Illy coffee.
Try it: search for Illy -coffee to find about Illy the place or Illy the rapper.
For instance, a search for income tax bands 2011-2012 using the HMRC website’s own search box returns no results (yes, really). But if you put the same search term into Google and restrict it to pages on the HMRC website, you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
(The exact phrase to enter into Google is: income tax bands 2011-2012 site:hmrc.gov.uk)
There are lots of other Google search operators you can experiment with. Read about them on Google’s help pages, or see this handy infographic. You can also use the advanced search page to access similar Google search tips without having to remember specific operators.
Leave a comment to share your favourite Google search tips or let us know if we’ve helped you.