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Google Hacks: How to use Google Web Search Basics

Whenever you search for more than one keyword at a time, a search engine has a default strategy for handling and combining those keywords. Google defaults to searching for occurrences of your specified keywords anywhere in the page, whether side by side or scattered throughout. To return the results of pages containing specifically ordered words, enclose them in quotes, turning your keyword search into a phrase search , to use Google's terminology.

On entering a search for the keywords:

Learn ethical hacking

Google will find matches where the keywords appear anywhere on the page. If you want Google to find you matches where the keywords appear together as a phrase, surround them with quotes, like this:

"Learn ethical hacking"

Google will return matches in which only those words appear together.

Google's Boolean default is AND, which means that if you enter query words without modifiers, Google will search for all your query words. For example, if you search for:

Learn ethical hacking website "penetration testing"

Google will search for all the words. If you prefer to specify that any one word or phrase is acceptable, put an OR between each:

Learn ethical hacking OR website OR "penetration testing"

* Make sure you capitalize OR; a lowercase or won't work correctly *

If you want to search for a particular term along with two or more other terms, group the other terms within parentheses, like so:

Learn ethical hacking (website OR "penetration testing")

This query searches for the word "website" or phrase "penetration testing" along with "Learn ethical hacking"

If you want to specify that a query item must not appear in your results, prepend a (minus sign or dash):

Learn ethical hacking website -"penetration testing"

This will search for pages that contain both the words "Learn ethical hacking" and "website," but not the phrase "penetration testing."

* Note that the symbol must appear directly before the word or phrase that you don't want. If there's space between, as in the following query, it won't work as expected: *

Learn ethical hacking website - "penetration testing"

Be sure, however, to place a space before the - symbol.

There are certain words that Google will ignore because they are considered too common to be of any use in the search. These words"I," "a," "the," and "of," to name a feware called stop words .

You can force Google to take a stop word into account by prepending a + (plus) character, as in:

+the hackers

Stop words that appear inside of phrase searches are not ignored. Searching for:

"the hackers" lifestyle

Will result in a more accurate list of matches than:

the hackers lifestyle

Simply because Google takes the word "the" into account in the first example but ignores it in the second.

The Google synonym operator, the ~ (tilde) character, prepended to any number of keywords in your query, asks Google to include not only exact matches, but also what it thinks are synonyms for each of the keywords. Searching for:


Turns up results for monkey, gorilla, chimpanzee, and others (both singular and plural forms) of the ape or related family, as if you'd searched for:

monkey gorilla chimpanzee

Along with results for some words you'd never have thought to include in your query. (Synonyms are bolded along with exact keyword matches on the results page, so they're easy to spot.)

If you're looking to spend $500 to $800 on a sony laptop; Google for:

sony laptop 10..15 inch $500..$800

The one thing to remember is always to provide some clue as to the meaning of the range, e.g., $, size, megapixel, kg, and so forth.

You can also use the number range syntax with just one number, making it the minimum or maximum of your query. Do you want to find some land in Noida that's at least 50 acres? No problem:

acres Noida land 50..

On the other hand, you might want to make sure that raincoat you buy for your terrier doesn't cost more than $10. That's possible too:

raincoat dog ..$10

Google normally does not recognize special characters such as $ in the search process. But because the $ sign was necessary for the number feature, you can use it in all sorts of searches.

Try the search - "weekly sale" bargains 10

and then - "weekly sale" bargains $10

Notice how the second search gives you far fewer results? That's because Google is matching $10 exactly.

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