Skip main navigation

Search Modifiers

Do you know how to tweak your Google Search results using modifiers? In this video, Graham explains how search modifiers work using some examples.
6.8
Google Search has a great feature  called modifiers. These were built   into Google Search from day one but you  might not have known they were there.   We’re going to show you a few really useful  modifiers that you can use in your Google Search   to really find that information  that’s specific to your needs. One really handy modifier is the  quotes. In your Google Search,   if you wrap some text with some quotes, so  for example, “tallest building in the world”,   all of the results will include that exact  phrase “tallest building in the world”. Another modifier is the site modifier, so this  will give us results including mini beasts,   but they must be from the site bbc.co.uk.
55.1
If we do a search, for example, for jaguar, we see  lots of results about jaguar cars. However, if we   add in a minus car, all of the results exclude the  word car so we get results about jaguar the cats.
74.5
And finally, if we use the modifier   “define” and then a word, Google will  present us with a dictionary definition   of that word with some really handy  links to find out more about that word. Using these modifiers can be really  helpful. You might not remember all of them   but just remembering that they are  there, you can go and find out exactly   how to phrase your search to find  the specific information you want.

Modifiers are built into Google Search and they can really help refine your search results.

For example, if you are looking for information on the tallest building in the world, then by using the quote key ( “ ) before and after the search “tallest building in the world” will only display searches with that exact phrase. Add the text site: and a website to your search to only find results that appear on that website. Add the text define: before a word to return dictionary definitions. Put a – character before a word to exclude results with that word.

For additional support please visit the website link below: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2466433?hl=en

Putting it into Practice

Use search modifiers to find information about trainers; the people who train others, not the shoes.

This article is from the free online

Google For Education: Staying Organised and Improving Communication

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education