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Anyone familiar with the subject of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will know about the efforts and struggles web authors go through to ensure their content appears at the top of search results. Google actually makes this relatively easy with free tools and lots of helpful information—I know from experience.

But what about the efforts and struggles that users go through to find the content they are looking for???

Good news for those of use using Google is that there are some easy to use advanced search functions enabling you to filter search results.

Search Operators

The first group of functions are those that are entered in the search query box to help you generate more meaningful search queries.

For example, use the site:operator to get results from a specific site. For example, to get results from SAP Community Network only, prefix your queries with as in NetWeaver mobile.

Within the query itself you can add operators to help fine tune your query. Use phrase search (“”) for exact phrase matches—helpful when looking for a specific SAP product name and version such as “SAP NetWeaver Process Integration 7.3”. Meanwhile, terms you don’t want can be filtered out placing a minus (-) before the term: let’s say you were looking for Web Dynpro but didn’t want Java, you’d search for Web Dynpro –Java.

On Page Functions

The second group of functions are filters that appear on the search results page.

First, we have the handy left panel. It contains a list of filters such as New, Realtime and Discussions. Clicking these on the search results page will instantly narrow down the search results according to the filter selected.  If the filter you’re not looking for doesn’t appear, just click More at the bottom of the list presented. (My personal favorite is the recipes filter.)

Google Left Panel

Further down are additional tools: just click More search tools and don’t forget to try the wonder wheel!

Other filters appearing on page are within the results themselves. Occasionally Google will group results from the same domain making them accessible by clicking Show more results from [domain]:

Google Show More Results from domain

At the same time, if you’re logged into Google using, say, your gmail account, you might be offered the opportunity to Block results from a specific domain:

Google Block Results from Domain

More Information

Above are just some of the many tools and enhancements offered by Google to help you find what you’re looking for faster.

If you want to explore other operators available in Google, check out the following pages: Advanced Operators

Google Support: More search help

And, for Twitter users: Twitter Search Operators

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  1. Kenneth Murray
    This is more powerful than most know so it is worth the time to try it out.  I have used the site: token for quite some time.  I also use the filetype: token to search a site for all of the PDF or doc documents.  I have found some surprising stuff using this!  Good Luck.

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