5 effective tips to better use Google

Doing research on Google is one thing. But do you know these methods to improve your chances of finding the right results?

Do a search on the Google of another country

By default, Internet users in France use the French version of Google. But it is possible to ask the search engine to display results from other regions of the world. You can use a VPN which then passes your connection through the country you are interested in, or you can change the language settings on PC and mobile.

How to change the language of Google searches on mobile. // Source: Numerama screenshot

Test your English level on Google

Google provides two little-known services that allow you to assess your level of English. You can answer small vocabulary quizzes, but also test the quality of your pronunciation. If the quizzes are rather basic and are probably not very useful to you if you are preparing for the TOEIC, the pronunciation help is decisive if you have an impossible accent.

5 effective tips to better use Google
The tool is basic, but for those who don’t have a high level in English, it can be useful.

Learn advanced search operators

You’ve been using Google for several years, but did you know that there are advanced techniques to refine the search? Of course, there are the tools provided by the American company, which allow you to filter by date (less than an hour ago, less than 24 hours ago, less than a week ago, etc.), by language (French or not) or by country. But there are others.

These operators must be entered directly in the search field. There are a few dozen. Here are the main ones:

  • The quotation marks « » : to search for an exact expression, and not each word separately. For example, ” I love the cake “Go search for this precise phrase all over the web, and not just “ I like “+” the “+” pancake », for example in the sentence « I like to eat good pancakes “.
  • The dash / hyphen : it allows to exclude a term when it is put in front. For example, the query svod movies -Netflix will search all the pages containing the keywords movies and svod and which do not contain netflix. You can exclude more than one term at a time if you want.
  • site: at the beginning of the query to search for results on a specific site. For example, the query site:numerama.com svod displays all the pages talking about SVOD only on Numerama. You can use this targeting on the home page of a site, but also on a specific category, to filter the pages even more, such as site:numerama.com/tech/svod.
  • The link AND : to find pages containing all the words of the query, and not just some. for example svod AND movie AND netflix. It is written in capital letters.
  • The link GOLD : to find pages that contain either such terms or others. For example mobile OR smartphone OR laptop. The link should be written in capitals. It can also be replaced by the mobile|portable|smartphone vertical bar.
  • filetype: at the beginning of the query, indicating the file format you are looking for. For example, filetype:PDF book allows you to Google all PDF documents containing the keyword book. It works with other formats, like doc (Word ) xls (Excel).
  • title, allintext, inurl, allinurl, inanchor, allinanchor : the principle is similar to site:, except that it targets specific elements of a web page: its title (intitle), the body of the text (allintext), the URL (inurl and allinurl) and the anchors on the pages (inanchor and allinanchor).

These operators can be combined (we can imagine a query of the type site:numerama.com svod -netflix “Prime Video” OR Disney+). These tools allow searches with surgical precision, but this requires having a clear view of what you want and sometimes having to do it a few times, changing this or that operator.

Sing to find a song in Google

Google integrates a music identification service into its search engine, via its mobile application. Just hum, hum or whistle to reveal results and, perhaps, find the song whose name escapes you, but which runs through your head. Clearly, Google has integrated a tool similar to Shazam.

5 effective tips to better use Google
“Hm hm hm hmmmm” and “tin tin tin tiiiin”. Sometimes it doesn’t work well.

Have dark mode in Google

If you stay up late at night on the net and turn off the lights, you might not want to blind yourself with the brightness of the screen. You can then either decrease it or opt for Google’s dark mode. The search engine has also decided to offer it for its service – it also offers it for all of its other products.

dark google
Google in dark version.

All our practical guides in the How to section

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