Google-Fu: Quickly Become A Google Jedi Master

Google-Fu is one task all teens will do better than most adults – and it’s not Tic-Tok or Snapchat. Teens have become specialists at quickly locating information on the internet. It is amazing what the kids find and how quickly they do it.

That’s Jedi Mastery of Google-Fu. Using the ‘Force’ on search engines to stir up answers and look up information faster than a contestant on a radio talk show.

Level 1 Google-Fu Mastery: Tell It What You Require

Google can be magically wise, not unlike the Wizard of Oz, and can comprehend “conversational searches”. Let’s say you came upon a great set of instructions to build a cabinet online, however, the measurements use the metric system. Don’t worry, Google has your back.

All that is required is for you to simply tell it what you wish to convert, and what you need it converted to:

[number] [unit] into [unit]

Type in “20 centimeters into inches”…then hit ‘enter’.

Google will do the calculations and display the converted measurement. It will even include a useful drop-down menu so that the measures can change for the next entry b=needing converted.

Google-Fu - measurement converter
Simply tell it what you wish to convert, and what you need it converted to.

This ‘tell it what you need’ formula will work for several queries. The following list is some additional formats you can use and will provide you more ideas:

  • Release dates: [movie/game] release date
  • Fast facts: [name of person] death
  • Stats: [city] population

Level 2 Google-Fu Mastery: Limiting Result Categories

You can tell Google that you just want the news with one extra click. You can do the same with images, videos, books, maps, apps, and shopping. When you initially search, the results will be displayed as a mixture of different categories or types.

Are you able to see the ‘ALL’ tab highlighted up at the top of the search page? All you need to do is click on the tab of the type you wish to search for.

Google-Fu - categories
The search box of Google offers a plethora of shortcuts that will display some amazing tools and useful information in a fast and direct fashion.

Level 3 Google-Fu Mastery: Using Drop Downs.

A very useful, in fact, one of the foremost useful Google-Fu techniques is to limit results to websites from a specific country or geographic location. This is really useful for locating nearby bargains when traveling or a nearby business.

Click on ‘SETTINGS’ in the bottom right-hand corner of the main search page, or at the end of the top menu of current results (see image below). This will display a second drop-down menu. There you will see the choice for ‘Advanced Settings’. From here you can limit the search to a ‘Language’, ‘Country’, ‘Time’, or other parameters. Two more additional clicks and the search can be restricted to just your home country and/or stuff listed in the past seven days only.

Advanced Google Search
You need advanced Google-Fu search tricks to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Level 4 Google Jedi Mastery: Using Operators.

The last level of Google-Fu Jedi Mastery we will discuss is often used as a last resort. You can use this when you’re in doubt if the web has the “holy grail” you’re looking for.

You can add a ‘-‘ directly, no spaces, before a word you wish to exclude from the search results. The search results will show everything that contains the other search terms but doesn’t contain the one word with the ‘-‘ in front.

Using the Google minus operator
Add a ‘-‘ directly, no spaces, before a word you wish to exclude it.

Last, but not least, if you place your search terms in “quotation marks” it forces Google to search for these terms bound together in the quotation marks without breaking them up.

As an example: “Project Management” will provide search results with ‘project management’ together.

Using quotation marks with Google Search
The “quotation marks” binds the term together so Google can’t break it up.

Before long young Padawan, your Google-Fu will be that of a Jedi Master.

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May the Google-Fu be with you.

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