How-To Geek

Improve Your Google Search Skills [Infographic]

Don’t limit yourself to just plugging in simple search terms to Google; check out this infographic and learn a search string search or two.

You don’t need to limit yourself to searching just for simple strings; Google supports all manner of handy search tricks. If you want to search just’s archive of XBMC articles, for example, you can plug in XBMC to search our site.

Get More Out of Google [HackCollege via Mashable]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/25/11

Comments (56)

  1. Liolta

    Absolutely Brilliant, writing my thesis at the moment and I am forever getting frustrated with irrelevant google results. I really did not know it worked this way. Thank you, saving me hours of irrelevant reading :)

  2. Opinion02122

    I don’t see the info graphic. I’m on an iPad. Do need my PC to see it?

  3. vicki

    People at work call me the google queen but, obviously, I have been a mere commoner. Thanks for this info which will help me live up to my designation.

  4. tommy2rs

    Lol…that gave me an Internet Tourbus flashback from 2003

  5. karyn

    Wow, the article’s graphics look like a bad copy off a mimeograph machine .
    Much better and easier to read at the link provided at the bottom:
    Get More Out of Google [HackCollege via Mashable]

  6. shekharshekhar3

    Very helpful. Thanks.

  7. MattG

    The author of this infographic mistakenly assumes their readers are exclusively Mac users. I take offense to this.

  8. Arston

    Well according to the statistics he has, bigger part of the students use Macs, therefore his decision seems a good one. Though I disagree with that. I don’t think Mac users are more common among students, but maybe it depends on where you are.

  9. Dark Reality

    The infographic should note that Windows users can’t screenshot with CTRL+Shift+3/4. Makes the infographic feel way outdated. Schools haven’t favoured Macs in a couple decades.

  10. Seygantte

    While I realise the shortcuts for the two systems are essentially the same, you should appeal to the larger user base by using PC shortcuts not Mac ones.

  11. Mearcat

    I would like to know where he got that statistic from. But if I had to geuss I would bet hes a mac user as are most of his friends and therefore he pulled 70% out of his butt. lol

  12. Paulius

    One more tip: it’s quite easier to press “F6” (which works both for Linux and Windows on majority of browsers) to focus on address bar rather than pressing Comand/Ctrl + L. :)

  13. annacronysm

    there is an excruciating abundance of punctuation and syntax errors in the infographic…”the authors initials” and such…blegh.

  14. julia

    İ tried the ‘screenshot’ command in Windows XP ‘ctrl +shift+3 and it worked(in paint).However subsequent attempts to capture the screenshot, have ALL FAİLED.Any suggestions ANYONE,as to why?

  15. anonymous

    LOL epic advice about Google searches and it’s detailed in an un-indexable image. Smooth work.

  16. TJ Dimacali

    I’m surprised no one has yet caught on to the oblique reference to Monty Python and the Quest for the Holy Grail in the second example (“A report on the different air speed velocities of common swallows”). Here ya go:

  17. Ashish

    Thanks ! its really helpful and using these tips make searching easy and fast that saves time
    Thanks again!

  18. GreasyHooks

    This is very useful, thanks for the great post.


  19. Alex

    Absolutely great! Thanks a lot!

  20. 4G Reaper

    @TJ, glad someone else caught that.

    Then when you have found the shrubbery, you must cut down the mightiest tree in the forest with… a herring!!!

  21. Lee Bee

    Thanks for the useful tips

  22. sim

    It’s good to know students have so much money to waste they can afford to buy a mac, perhaps they will study value for money next year!

  23. don

    google sucks, it use to be good not anymore, I rather have a slower os than otherwise using google
    all of my security is firewalled against google…
    someday people or the authorities are going to want to get something on you best place is google everytime you touch a key your being recorded, and the safeguards assuming there are any are miniscule and easily hackable.
    STAY AWAY!!!

  24. Jezreel Ricafort

    It depends to the country you are staying, in other country they encourage the students to used mac with student discout. The only thing is you must prove that you are student by bringing you report card or school ID’s.

  25. TJ Dimacali

    @4G Reaper, Hahaha! …or should I say, Ni ni ni! :P

  26. anyone

    Try a librarian and do even better.

  27. Jignesh

    Nice style of presentation, I use google from last 6 year, but some point in this post are really great, thanks for the sharing……

  28. sushil lamba

    great work

  29. nawaz

    thankyou very much

  30. carlito robles

    very interesting this sight

  31. raindy

    Thanks a lot…LOL

  32. Lawry

    Thank you, very helpful. Just one question: What planet do you live on where 70% of the students use Macs!? Everywhere I have been it is more like 99.99% of students use PC’s. i{^_^}

  33. Gab

    “70% of college students use macs.”

    Wow, really?? Here I thought these kids were supposed to be smart.

  34. Frank


    This is an instance where the Mac technique doesn’t work in Windows. To capture a screenshot of the entire desktop to the Windows clipboard, use the key. To capture just the active window, use + together. You can then paste the clipboard contents to a Word or Paint document.

    Windows 7 and Vista have a feature called Snipping Tool that is more versatile than this approach, but I find the suits my own needs just fine.

    (Or you could google “windows screenshots”…)

  35. Frank

    I guess this comment feature doesn’t like things enclosed in corner brackets… must be a defense against hacking attempts. In my previous comment, please imagine I’d written PRINT SCREEN and ALT+PRINT SCREEN to capture the desktop and active window, respectively..

  36. Mike

    There is not a command key on the keyboard. Do you mean the Control key? (Ctrl)

  37. r@thi

    very helpful… can be so calculative so helpful in search….

  38. Arun Kumar

    Thanks, Nice Information

  39. Sateesh Chandra Pathak

    awesome It will definitely help me a lot. I was afraid of searching on google by not getting results.

  40. mojo706

    70 % of students use macs? Not in Kenya though we love PC’s coz they cheaper. But the article was an informative read. Keep It Up.

  41. daniel guglielmo

    You should mention how to index as well… just saying

  42. mansky

    this page is virtually unreadable on a Mac or a Wintel computer because it’s a picture of a printed page, rather than a composed web page.

    I’d trust Google more directly. They provide much more detailed advanced search beginning at

  43. SourcePig

    lol @ monty python,,,good catch. +1

  44. visitor

    Great article thank you very much for taking the time.

  45. sourav

    i want more short-cuts!!!!!!!!!

  46. g. ekoyanto

    I’m very likes articles so giving me learning…

  47. g. ekoyanto

    Thank you for stumble’s site for giving me many benefits.

  48. alberto deleon

    thanks for the info….GOD BLESS..

  49. Moody

    Use ctrl +screenshot to take a screen shot than paste it (ctrl + v ) in paint so u can save it as jpeg ….

  50. danleik

    Graphics and colors kept me on the page to learn some great tips. Otherwise would have Stumbled right on through. Thanks.

  51. Justin

    The only thing I didn’t know here was the use of tilde (~) to search related terms

  52. Colin Forster

    Really helpful shortcuts to get valuable information and it will definitely going to reduce time and efforts,

    Thanks again


    this is very useful
    thank you~

  54. bulluugh
  55. stuvert

    This is great thanks for shortcuts and made over search easy

  56. adam

    Awesome stuff!! Simple understandable to the point!!

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