How to Use Google: The Right Way

Get the answers you need ASAP

Google-fu has become a common term in the technology world. It's like kung fu, but for people who sit behind a desk all day. Google-fu is defined as a skill in using search engines (especially Google) to quickly find useful information on the internet.

Here are some tricks that I use every day to get answers super fast:

  1. Use this template: [Environment] [Attribute] [Sub-Attribute].

This isn't a set-in-stone rule, but I've found it useful when it comes to getting good results really quickly. On Google's Search Tips & Tricks page, they say you should keep it simple, which is what that template does.

Example: Javascript objects foreach

  1. Use these:

  2. site:example.com

    • Only show results from specific site. I use site:reddit.com and site:stackoverflow.com all the time.
  3. -exclude
    • Put a hyphen (-) before a word to exclude it from the results. For example, if you have a Canon camera, use -Nikon when searching for specific menu options.
  4. "include exact words in quotes"
    • If you put something in quotes, only results with those words together will be displayed.
  5. +exact word
    • If you put a place + before a word, that exact word needs to be in the results and cannot be omitted.

There's lots more and you can see a lot of them in Jeff Atwood's post here. The ones above are the ones I use all the time. I don't really use the other ones like inurl or intitle.

  1. Know SQL? You can use it when searching for things on Google!

SQL is the way programming languages talks to databases. It can look something like this:

"SELECT username FROM users WHERE uuid=abc AND id = 2"

See that AND in there? You can use it in Google! You can also use OR and NOT. Example:

(Javascript OR react) AND (ruby OR python) "500 error" NOT php

That's pretty much it! The list isn't super long because, well, how difficult can search really get?

Kash Goudarzi

/kash