We're always on the lookout for data and information, and a search engine like Google helps us find the answers and resources we're looking for every day.
There are simple Google search shortcuts that can help us find what we're looking for even faster.
When you find what you need faster, you get more time for strategizing and creating. I call that a unicorn tactic worth exercising.
With few strategic keystrokes, we'll get results that more closely align with what we're looking for, whether we're doing keyword research or competitor research.
1. Use quotation marks to keep terms together.
If want to search for a particular phrase consisting of two or more words, enclose them in quotation marks.
Google will then only return results matching the complete phrase.
Type this in the search bar: "Be a unicorn in a sea of donkeys."
2. Remove unwanted terms with a dash.
Another good way to narrow down your results is to exclude unwanted results.
Using a dash/minus sign will exclude the term you don't want from the results.
Type this in the search bar: animals -donkey
3. Use tilde to search for a keyword and its synonyms
If you're looking for a whole slew of similar terms, you don't have to list all those keywords out in a query.
Instead, you can use the tilde symbol to include results with synonyms of that word.
Type this in the search bar: unicorn ~magical
Using the tilde can widen your search and pull additional results that wouldn't necessarily come up otherwise.
4. Use a site query to find anything
Even if a site has its own search function, using a site query can be more effective.
You can use Google to search within that website by typing the following into the address bar.
Type this in the search bar: site:mobilemonkey.com chatbots
You can then use other search parameters with your desired keywords to narrow your search and find exactly what you're looking for.
5. Discover linking URLs with a link query.
There may be some cases when you want to see whatever may be linking to specific web pages such as your own.
The link query is helpful in that case. It can be used to search whatever may be linking to a specified URL.
Type this in the search bar: link:mobilemonkey.com/url
This is great for various research applications. For example, use it if you're looking to improve SEO through building links. See how many people are linking to web pages this way.
6. Narrow your results with two periods.
If you want to search for something within a certain range of price, measurement or time, using two periods can help you do just that.
Instead of putting "to" in between the parameters, just put in two periods with no space.
Type this in the search bar: chatbot technology 2017..2018
7. Use the related query to find similar websites.
With the related query command, you can search for websites similar to another.
Type this in the search bar: related:mobilemonkey.com
This is particularly useful for conducting competitor research.
In the world of the web, start-ups and digital marketing, first-mover and even fast-mover advantage is real.
That's why I'm building my new company, MobileMonkey. MobileMonkey is an easy-to-use platform that enables marketers to get first-mover advantage for the Facebook Messenger channel.
It pays off big to use trusted platforms to their full potential with pro moves and to jump on new technologies first.