Sometimes, when searching for something on Google, Brave, DuckDuckGo, etc., there can be too many results to filter from. Here are some easy ways to narrow search results down to find what you’re looking for.
1. Search specific sites.
It’s easier to search for articles or content on a certain website. You can filter out some junk sites and refer back to places that give you the best information. The setup is pretty simple:
- Kyrie Irving site:menoforder.com
This will search for all content about the NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving, but only on menoforder.com. All other search results will be removed.
Depending on how specific you are with the URL, you can narrow down your searches even more by including extra details:
- Kyrie Irving site:menoforder.com/kyrie-irving-back
2. Use the asterisk wildcard.
The asterisk wildcard is one of the more useful search engine hacks. When you use an asterisk in a search, it leaves a placeholder. The search engine will automatically fill that placeholder later.
This is a great resource if you need to know a quote or song lyrics. Here’s the syntax:
- “Ask not * do * you”
Google will automatically replace the placeholders and pull up the classic quote from JFK.
3. Find sites that are similar to others.
Let’s say you have a favorite website and you want to find others like it. You would use this trick:
The search results won’t just pull up the NFL webpage. Instead, you’ll see links to other sports sites as well. This is also a great way to filter out websites that are biased or spammy.
4. Find a specific file.
One of the best, but forgotten, search engine hacks is the ability to search for a file or file type.
This is crucial if you need a specific PDF or file for a project. Here’s the syntax:
- [Search term here] filetype:pdf
Just replace “search term here” with whatever you’re searching for. After “filetype”, you can change it from PDF to PPTX, DOCX, etc.
5. Add stop words back into your search.
Did you know search engines like to ignore some words in a search? It’s designed that way to get search results to you faster. Common “stop” words like a, the, be, how, it, and to are eliminated.
But sometimes you need every word included if you’re looking for a specific article or how-to guide.
To force your search engine to include these words, just add a plus sign before the stop word.
Don’t get overwhelmed by the millions of search results out there. You can hack through the weeds of the internet with these tools.
Other tools, like boolean operators, are extremely beneficial.
Use these to avoid that dreaded second page of results!