26 ways to Google search to find what you want – for Australians

Why you may not be using Google for all it has to offer

Most people, when using a search engine, type in keywords. Keywords are the first step to finding what you are looking for. But what if you want to find something on a particular site, or in a particular file type? Then you need to use the tips below. I have included the tips below as Google-specific tips, however most of them work on Yahoo as well (or at least help to find similar results).


Use Google Advanced Search

My first tip is not to use Google search – use Google Advanced Search instead.

Google Advanced Search is located at www.google.com/advancedsearch and has multiple search boxes to clarify exactly what you are looking for. Google Advanced Search will use most of the tips below, and a few more. I’d recommend trialling the advanced search to see what different options you can search for.


Main tips for using Google Search (or other search engines):



What it does

Search by site


searches everything on the NoMoney website

Search by type of site


searches every website with .com.au

Exact phrase

“exact phrase”

will search for everything with “exact phrase” rather than everything with “exact” on the page and “phrase” elsewhere on the page

And this

exact AND phrase

will search for everything with “exact” and “phrase” (which could be in different places of the website)

Except that

nomoney –.gov

will exclude keywords or types of sites (eg. I have excluded any government sites in this example)


making * China

a wildcard means you can add anything. making * China could be making anything in china – be it money, electronics etc.

Or that

super OR contribution

either one of these (show all sites with super or contribution)

Not that

this NOT that

searches everything with “this” except the sites that have “that”

Search related sites


will give you related websites (not in yahoo searches)

Search file type

filetype:PDF nomoney

you can search specific file types related to a keyword or site.

Eg. PDF, PPT (PowerPoint), XLS (Excel), HTML (website only)

Search dates


Search between years

Search by country


only Australian sites (although note that .com sites setup by Australians will not appear)

Search website title

intitle:young people

all websites with “young people” in the website title

Search website URL


search URLs with money in the title (eg. NoMoney) (not in yahoo searches)

Search by author

author: bill gates

books written by Bill Gates

Search synonyms


searches any synonyms (such as frightened, afraid)


Combining the rules – Filter your information by website and file types

“CGT Site:ato.gov.au filetype:PDF 2010..2013″ – will provide all PDF documents on the ATO website about CGT (capital gains tax) written between 2010 and 2013.

“super site:nomoney.com.au –filetype:xls” – will find everything related to super on nomoney.com.au except if they are in Excel spreadsheet format.


Google for a quick answer

There are a few functions on Google you can use to get a quick answer right on the search page.    



What it does

Definitions of words


definition on the main page


100 miles to kilometres

converts to kilometres

Current share or stock price


shows share price for BHP or Telstra (NB: this didn’t work for all shares) Works for USA stocks



provides the local weather



use google as a calculator

Currency conversion


current currency rate

Local time in Singapore


lists current time in Singapore

Flight prices – enter in airport codes


flights from Sydney to San Francisco

Origin of a word or phrase

etymology: geek

brings up the origin of the word geek


A bit more about searching with Google


Google is a search engine (not an English teacher)

  • Google doesn’t care about upper or lowercase, apostrophes or sentences, eg. searching remedies dark afraid should provide the same results as remedies for being afraid of the dark.
  • When searching keywords, Google employs synonyms automatically (so if you search afraid of dark it will also search scared, frightened etc).


Think about your search terms

  • Adding more keywords to a search term doesn’t always limit the results, eg. real estate agent listing won’t reduce the number of search results. However, adding Sydney will reduce the results and adding a suburb like Manly will reduce the results further.
  • Google’s auto complete is a very useful function because it lets you know what others are searching to see if you are on the right track.


I hope these ways to search Google will help you find what you are looking for. Please write in the comments below if there are other ways that you use Google.

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