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Google Search Tips

Google Search Tips - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

CUTTS: Hi, this is Matt Cutts. And I wanted to give you some searching tips. So you’d be surprised how many people don’t know these three or four very simple searching tips. If you would like to have a phrase match, you can put things in double quotes. So for example, Matt, apace, Cutts will match documents that have the words, Matt and Cutts. But if you put double quotes around that, so it’s “Matt Cutts” with double quotes, it will match that exact phrase on the page. Now, suppose you’re interested in Matts, but not me, you might do Matt, space, minus Cutts, and that will say only show pages that have Matt but don’t have the word Cutts. So that can be very handy. So you know how to exclude words, you know how to require exact matches of phrases. Now, what if we do a synonym? For example, if we type in something like, you do a search for auto, we might add a synonym for car. So if you look in the snippets and you see a car bolded and you’re like, “Oh, Google is helping me out. They’re trying to search for auto and the car. That’s kind of handy.” But maybe you don’t want that. In that case, put a plus right in front of auto, and then it will only search for exactly auto. Another good tip is to do site: and then the name of a domain. You can do site: example.com and then regular stuff and that will only match things on example.com. You don’t just have to use a domain name; you can use a top level domain. For example, suppose you want information about mortgages, but you only want them from the U.S. Government. You can do site: gov mortgages. And then that will require matches that end in .gov. A nice power tip about the site feature is that you can also say site: example.com/ and then a directory name. And that will mean search only an example.com/ in that directory. So if there’s something that you really like, but you only want one, that one subdirectory, you can use that as a restriction within your site: search. So those are some very simple power tips. You would be amazed at how many people don’t know about phrase searches, using the minus sign, using the plus sign and then the site:. Those are some of the very simple ways that you can get some really good results without a lot of work.

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


Original video: