How to Use Google Syntax (A Guide for Internet Amateurs)

Example of Google Syntax
  1. How would you search for an exact word or phrase?

On Google, you would search for an exact word or phrase by using quotations. However, you only conduct this method of searching if looking to find an exact word. For example, if I wanted to search up a song lyric I listened to on the radio, I would type:

Ex. “I know it breaks your heart” (song lyric from Chainsmokers, Closer)

2. How would you search for something on a specific site?

If you wanted to search for information, for example, about basketball and you would like to search for this on the CBC news website, you would type:

Ex. basketball site:

In this situation, you would include the text (in this case, “basketball”) that you wanted to search up and additionally have the site that you locate this information with.

3. How would you correctly search for a definition?

​To look up a definition, you would need to type the word define before the actual word you are trying to define. For example, if you are trying to find the meaning of the word empathy, it would be, define: empathy.

4. How would you search for a specific product available within a specific price range?

To look up a product that you are considering to buy within a price range that is specific to your preference, start with that product you desire and then you include the price range and two decimals between these two items without any spaces.

Ex. dumbbells $39…$116

5. How would you search for a specific file type?

​To search for this filetype you want, you put the word filetype and a colon (filetype:…) before the specific filetype you want. This restricts all other file types to that specific one.

Ex. filetype:…jpg

6. How would you include or ignore words in your search?

​To do this, you would have to exclude a word by putting a dash in front of the excluded word.

Ex. blizzard ice-cream

7. How would you find sites/pages similar to an existing one?

​If you want to find web pages that are related to an existing one, but the word related before the website you are wishing to relate to.

8. How would you confirm the exact form of a quote even if you were missing some of the words?

To confirm the exact form of a quote, you would notice the missing words with an asterisk or *.

Ex. *NBA

9. How would search for pages containing two connected words?

To search for words containing two connected words, you would use the “or” in-between pages.

Ex. Basketball or soccer

10. How would you search for social media content containing a specific tag?

To search for social media content using a specific tag, use a hashtag.

Ex. #basketball

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