I’ve been using Google since the early 90s, when it was first conceived, and have been using it daily since. And yet, even I didn’t know some the shortcuts found below, brought to us by brightside.me.

1. Either this or that

Sometimes we’re not sure of, whether we’re looking for, say, a picture of Jennifer Anniston or Jennifer Lawrence. To overcome this common problem, simply put in both names, separating them with the word ”or” (or the pipe symbol “|” ).

2. Searching using synonyms

How many times do you have the word you’re looking for at the tip of your tongue, but can’t for the life of you remember it? To overcome this, just add the “~” symbol to your search. For example, if you search for the term “healthy ~food” you’ll get results about the principles of healthy eating, cooking recipes, as well as healthy dining options.

3. Searching within websites

You know the salad recipe you’re looking for was on brightside.me, but can’t find it anymore. So, search within the website: type the address of the site, then a keyword or entire phrase from the article, and it should come up immediately.

4. The power of the asterisk

If your memory is anything like mine, you’ll often find it hard to recall the specific keyword, phrase, or number you need in order to find what you’re looking for. But don’t despair! Just turn to the powerful asterisk – “*” – symbol and use it in place of the missing word/phrase.

5. When lots of words are missing

If it’s the lengthier half of the phrase you can’t remember rather than a single keyword, as in when you’re trying to remember a quote, try writing out the first and last words and putting “AROUND + (the approximate number of missing words)“ between them. For example, ”I wandered AROUND(4) cloud.”

6. Using a time frame

Sometimes we urgently need to acquaint ourselves with events that occurred during a certain period of time. To do so, you can add a time frame to your search query with the help of three dots between the dates. For example, if you want to find out about scientific discoveries during the 20th century, write:

7. Finding similar websites

If you’ve found something you really like online and want to find similar websites, type in “related:” and then the address of the site, again without a space between them.

8. Whole phrases

Framing your search term within quotation marks is the simplest and most effective way to find something specific and in the exact order you typed it in.

For example, if you type in the words I’m picking up good vibrations without quotation marks, the search engine will show the results where these words appear in any order on a website, as opposed to the specific order in which you typed them.

If, on the other hand, you type “I’m picking up good vibrations” within quotation marks, you’ll get only those results where these words appear only in the order you typed them in. This is a great way to find the lyrics to a song when you only know one line from it.

9. Unimportant search words

To remove unimportant search words from your query, simply write a minus symbol before each one. For example, if you want to find a site about interesting books, but you aren’t looking to buy them, you can write the following:

For more tips, check out the full post on brightside.me.

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