The VPM Blog

How to Maximize Your Google Search Results

Posted by Addi Rogers on Aug 21, 2014, 9:17:00 AM

Screen_Shot_2014-08-21_at_9.14.23_AMOptimizing content for Google is a constant task here at Verge Pipe Media. “How do we get more people to see us?” I ask myself this question every day. The answer is a complex formula that I still don’t have a full grasp on.

A lot of it is our responsibility. If we don’t optimize our content correctly, it will just be another one of the million blogs on the Internet.

But, it’s not solely up to us.

A recent study showed that 3 out of 4 college students couldn’t perform a well-executed Google search. AKA, people don’t know how to use Google!

So THAT’S why we’re not a multi-million dollar agency yet….

Kidding. Seriously though, here are some tips on how to maximize your Google search results.

Let’s say you want to search for Washington Post articles on the War in Iraq excluding anything about Saddam Hussein from the years 2007 to 2009. Here’s how you Google it:

To keep it specific to the Washington Post, type: “site:washingtonpost.com”

Use this symbol: ~ to search related words. So for this example, we’ll say you use the word “~war”.

Next, to be more specific, put any exact words you want in quotation marks. For this example, it would be a good idea to use “Iraq” as your exact key word.

Because you don’t want any articles that have to do with Saddam Hussein, you will type “-Saddam Hussein”

Last, using two periods will filter results for your designated time range, so you’d add 2007..2009.

Your search will end up looking like this:

site:washingtonpost.com ~war “Iraq” -Saddam Hussein 2007..2009

It looks a little bit tacky, but it will give you exactly what you want instead of you clicking through pages and pages of search results.

Here are some other symbols and words that will filter your search:

  • filetype: will only show results of the file type you requested (pdf, jpg, gif, doc, etc.)
  • intitle: will only show results with the specific word in the title.
  • * An asterisk followed by the word you choose will replace itself with common terms, for instance if you typed “*cat,” words like bobcat and housecat would be included in your search.
  • define: will define any word you choose
  • unit converter – type the conversion you’re looking for by including the units you have and want, for instance “12 inches in centimeters.”
  • author: will only produce search result with the author you specify

As you can see, there are several ways to that you can make your Google searches more specific and get exactly what you’re searching for.

Now that I’ve cleared this up, I expect our search rankings to go up tremendously. Happy searching!

photo credit: melanie.phung via photopin cc

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