Google performs 99,000 search queries every second with over 8.5 billion searches every single day. You can check the weather, and directions, translate languages, and so much more. Let’s dive deeper into understanding how to do Google web search along with some effective Google search tips.
How Google Search Works?
Google Search is an automated engine that uses web crawlers to regularly explore the web and add pages to its indexes. Most pages in search results are added automatically during this Google process. Below are the three steps that Google follows to provide you with relevant search results:
The first step is crawling which involves the discovery and adding of web pages to Google’s index. Google uses a process called “URL discovery” to find new and updated pages. This can happen through known pages, links, or submitted sitemaps.
Once Google discovers a page, Googlebot may crawl it to understand its content. It uses a search algorithmic process to determine which sites to crawl, how often it should be done, and how many pages to fetch.
The indexing process follows crawling, involving the analysis of a page’s textual content, key tags, and different attributes like <title> and alt attributes, images, and videos. Google identifies canonical pages within content clusters and selects the most representative page for search results.
For instance, signals such as language and usability are collected for canonical pages. This information is stored on the Google index which is a vase database. However, not every processed page is guaranteed to be indexed. Indexing is influenced by the page content, metadata, and potential issues like low-quality content or disallowed indexing due to robots’ meta-rules or challenging website design.
- Serving Search Results
When users search, the system seeks matching pages in the index and prioritizes them based on factors like location, language, and device. For example, a query for “mobile repair shops” will yield different results in London and Paris. The displayed Google search features also vary with the query.
As per the example, “smartphone repair shops” may show local results while “latest smartphone” may display image results. If a page is indexed but does not appear in the results, it could be because of irrelevant content, low-quality content, or robots’ meta-rules preventing display.
How to Search on Google Effectively?
Here are some of the tips and tricks to perform efficient Google searches:
- Do a Basic Web Search
The first and most basic step to get results on Google is to perform a basic web search. Open your web browser on your computer, smartphone, or tablet, and choose any web browser. It can be Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari, etc.
Once opened, go to the Google search box or address bar and type in your query. Click Google Search or the magnifying glass icon to begin the search. Google will show you relevant results and you can view each link to see detailed information on what you were looking for.
- Refine Your Results
Utilize search engine operators which are special characters to refine your search results. Here are some examples:
- Use quotations (“ ”) for exact phrases
- Add a tilde (~) for synonyms
- Exclude terms with a minus (-) symbol
- Insert two periods (..) between numbers for a range
- Use OR for results about one topic or another
- Add site: to search for single websites
- Search file types with filetype: (Example- filetype:pdf)
- Find related websites with related: qualifier
- Perform Advanced Google Search
You can choose to do Advanced Search for more in-depth search results. Click the gear icon on the results page to access this feature. Here, you can enter keywords in specific fields without using modifiers. You can further narrow down the results by language, region, last update, term location, domain, file type, explicit content, and usage rights.
- Set Time Restraints
If you are looking for the latest news or trying to find information that happened in accordance with a specific time frame, utilize Google’s search tools to filter your search results. If you are on a desktop, click “Tools” under the magnifying glass icon on the search bar and if you are using a mobile, swipe to the end of the list of Google search types and select “Search tools”.
You can select “Any time” to open a drop-down menu and further narrow your results by selecting past hour, 24 hours, week, month, year, or choose a custom range.
- Perform Reverse Image Search
With Google Reverse Image search, you can upload an image file and find information on that file. For example, if you upload a picture using the camera icon or drag and drop an image of the Taj Mahal in the search bar, Google will recognize it and provide you with information regarding the Taj Mahal. It also works with faces and directs you to websites where similar images appear.
- Do Calculations in Your Search Box
Perform math calculations using Google. You can easily do basic calculations directly in the search bar or search calculator to input your equations. You can also calculate the time difference by typing “time [location name]” or by using a ZIP code.
- Search for the Weather
Find out about today’s weather or how the weather will remain for the upcoming week from the Google search results page. Simply type “weather” and Google will show you the current forecast. If you perform a full search, Google will use your IP address to assess your location’s weather and provide you with accurate results.
- Start a Timer
Search “timer” or “stopwatch” to get a timer where you can input the amount of time, click, and enter the required time. Press Start for the countdown to begin. The countdown will continue even if you navigate to a new tab. An alarm will sound when the countdown is completed and the tab will display an hourglass icon until you click on OK.
- Convert Units with Google
You can now easily convert just about anything with the help of Google. Go to the search page and type in whatever you want to convert. It can be Celsius to Fahrenheit, liter to milliliter, ounces in pounds, and more. You can also find up-to-date currency conversion rates without knowing the official currency symbol of a country.
- Check Flight or Train Timings
If you need to board a train or catch a flight, use Google search and type in your train name or flight number. Google will provide you with a return card with up-to-date times along with gate/terminal information.
- Define Words in Google Search
Ask Google to define terms you are unfamiliar with by typing the word followed by define or definition. This will prompt Google to provide you with a card that has the definition, pronunciation, and when available, a detailed etymology.
- Track Packages through Google Search
You can track most of your packages through the Google search bar. Paste the tracking number of your package and Google will recognize it and display the current status of the package. Google will also provide you with a link to the official tracking page of your courier.
- Observe Real-Time Stock Quotes
Google provides you with real-time information about a company’s stock process. Most of the larger exchanges are in real-time which is showcased on the Google results.
- Find Streaming Sites
It is impossible to keep track of what movies or shows are streaming just by searching the web. Google makes it easier for you by showing you a list of video-streaming sites where you can search for movies or shows you want to watch and make your customized list for easy tracking.
- Spell in Numbers
If you are confused about spelling a number, type in the “[number]=english.” This query helps Google to show you the number in words.
- Create a Google Alert
Use Google Alert to get notified about different topics, keywords, or other search items. Add items to track and customize your alert based on the frequency of your notification, the sources, language, and regions that need to be included in the result along with the email it needs to be delivered.
- Filter Explicit Content
Tailor your Google search system to protect your kids from explicit content. Use Google’s SafeSearch feature and click on the gear icon on the top-right of the page. Toggle the Explicit results filter option and switch it on. Although not 100% accurate, it’s intended to filter out explicit links, images, or videos that may be inappropriate for audiences of all age groups.
- Play Games in Google Search
Google has a variety of built-in games and tools that you can easily access. You can play Pac-Man, Tic Tac Toe, Minesweeper, and Solitaire, among other games. You can also use the built-in metronome, breathing exercise, and color picker.
- “I’m Feeling Lucky” Search
Use the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button on Google’s homepage to be immediately taken to the first search result of your search term. This process saves you time when you know your search intent. The wording of this button may change from time to time, however, its usage remains the same.
- Use Google Search Dark Mode
You can search with Google by choosing the dark mode option. Click on “Settings” and select “Dark Theme” under Appearance.
Thus, Google provides you with relevant search results by performing crawling and indexing. It also saves search results and uses its algorithm to provide the desired outcome. Follow the different steps listed in this blog to use Google search to the fullest.