Become a Search Engine Ninja

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Search engines help us find information in the Internet. With hundreds of millions of webpages out there, it is difficult to find much of anything with search engines. While search engines generally do a good job of finding relevant results, sometimes we need to help them to get the specific results we are looking for.  

Below I’ve provided several search tips and tricks that I’ve found to be useful. Because Google is the most used search engine, these tips are for Google, but you may find many of them work in other search engines as well.  

If you do a search in quotes, such as “Bill Gates”, you will get results that exactly match Bill Gates.

If you want to exclude results that include a word, add a hyphen (-) before the word you want to exclude. For instance, “Bill -Gates” would only provide results that don’t include the word Gates.  

If you want to limit a search to a specific website (because Google often does a better job than a website’s organic search), use the site: operator. For instance a search for would only provide results from  

This also works if you only want sites from a type of domain. For instance, the search site:gov mortgage would only return results from .gov websites.  

Another trick I recently learned was if you simply search for an area code, Google will tell you where that area code is and will provide a map of the area. Do you know where area code 808 is?

Jonathan Stoddard
KTG Inc.
Denver, Colo.

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