Do you Google? I sure do. And I want my searches to be as fast and effective as possible! Google wants the same thing. In fact, their mission statement is, “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” They take their mission seriously, using algorithms and bots to crawl and index the web so that you can receive the most useful results available when you type your keywords into the search engine at google.com.
In this article you will learn how to:
- Search within a timeframe to get the most recent results for your search topic.
- Access sub-menus that provide a variety of tools to further refine your search.
- Conduct advanced searches beyond the sub-menus.
- Turn private search on or off – and learn what private search does.
- Search by image.
- BONUS: Access your search history from within Google – not the browser.
Do you ever search for something only to be disappointed that the results returned are outdated?
In the example below I searched for website design examples. You can see that the top results returned were dated February 23, 2012, and September 15, 2012. Well, website design has changed since then and I would like to see more recent examples. Instead of scrolling through the results to find something more relevant, I can click on Tools right below the search bar (on the right). Once clicked, the shading will appear to show you that the tools are now available and located one line below Tools on the left side of the screen under the search bar (see image 1). Click Any time and a sub-menu will appear. Select from Past hour, Past 24 hours, Past week, Past month, Past year or select a Custom range...
Please note: you have to conduct a search before the Tools and Setting menus appear on the screen. They are not displayed on the main Google search engine screen.
I selected Last month. My top results are now from February 26, 2018, and March 8 and March 2, 2018. MUCH better! You can also sort results by Relevance and Date by clicking on the Sorted by sub-menu as shown in image 2.
The Settings Menu
Right next to Tools is the Settings menu. You can choose which settings you want by clicking on the sub-menus, or you can select Search settings and it will take you to another page where you can select settings for Languages, Turn on SafeSearch, Hide private results, and History.
Private results will display results from your private accounts and friend’s accounts from Google+ and other connected accounts. Learn even more about Private search here.
Example searches with Private Results turned ON. Note: Some of the examples don’t work in all regions.
- Events: See Google Calendar events and appointments by searching
- Bills: See your bills, including when you need to pay them and how much you owe, by searching for
my bills. You can also search for specific types of bills, or bills from a certain time. For example,
my comcast bills 2013.
- Packages: Find out when your package will arrive by searching
- Reservations: See restaurant or hotel reservations by searching
- Flights: Search for your upcoming flights to see up-to-date flight updates by searching
- Google Photos: Find photos from your Google Photos by searching
my photos from new york in 2013.(from Google help)
I typed in my reservations and my flight information for an upcoming trip popped right up! There is a disclaimer that says only I can see this information. These types of searches work best if you are logged into Google and use Google calendar when you search.
Select Advanced search and you will see a screen many more options to further refine your search. These additional search parameters could prove helpful for a research project or when you just can’t locate the information you need. See image 5 below for all of the Advanced Search options available.
Advanced Search Screen
Search by Type
Select the type of results you want to see and further refine your search with sub-menus.
Under the search bar, you can select the type of results you want to see including All, Images, Videos, News, Maps, and More. For even more options, select the type of search you want to perform such as Images and select the Tools menu. Another sub-menu will appear and you can further refine your results for that type of search.
As you can see from the example below, when Images is selected a sub-menu appears and I can narrow results again by Size, Color, Usage rights, Type, Time frame, or More tools. I can also Clear all of my selections. The Videos sub-menu also has lots of handy selections to help narrow your results.
If you select More tools you can search in the categories Shopping, Books, Flights, Finance, and Personal.
Search by Image
Did you know that you can search by image? Yes, you can upload a picture to the Google search engine and it will find all similar images! This is handy if you eBay or Etsy or want to find the value of an item, but can’t locate it with a regular search. To search by image, you have to first go to Google Images, which you can do by simply typing google images into the search bar. Select Google Images or Google Image Search and a new Google Search bar will appear on the screen. There are four ways to search by image:
- Click on the little camera in the Google images search bar and you will see an upload screen.
- Drag an image from your computer into the search box.
- Copy and paste the URL for an image into the search box.
- Right-click on an image on the web. This option requires you to download either a Chrome extension or a Firefox extension. If you plan to do a lot of image searching, this could be a handy tool!
Google Search History
Google saves your search history separately from your web browsers. From the Settings menu (see image 3 above) select History and you will see a new page with all your search results. You can filter by date and product and delete anything you don’t want to keep.
Go Forth and Google
Now you know how to supercharge your Google searches! You have learned how to:
- Search by a timeframe to return the latest results on your topic.
- Further refine your search by the TYPE of information you are seeking such as images, video, news, and more.
- Search for personal information.
- Manage your settings for personal searches.
- Search by image.
- View and delete your search history saved by Google.
I hope you have enjoyed this quick tutorial on enhanced searching on Google. Feel free to weigh in on how you use these search techniques and leave me your comments below.
Now, my friends…go forth and Google!