How to search on Google: The Beginner’s Guide to Google

Have you spent hours and hours burning yourself with google search to get the information that you need?

I hear you saying, Yes.

It happens sometimes. I know, because it happened to me.

No worries, this guide will help you find what you need from Google Search.

Did you know, Google Search is one of the top go-to tool used by recruiters in their day-to-day job across the world?

If you want to be an effective recruiter then your search strings should be fine-tuned with the right operators to get the results from google.

In this post, I’ll go over the most used Google modifiers by recruiters. I will explain with examples that can improve your search.


I have listed my examples below with few refinements and you can add more modifiers, refinements based on your needs.

Let’s begin!

Google Search Modifiers

1.Exclude terms/Exclude Words by using the minus () symbol.

Example: (cv OR vitae OR resume) -jobs -job -apply -sample AND java

Check This: If you are not familiar with the Technical Terms like Java, .Net, HTML, CSS, etc. I have compiled the best technical term glossaries from the web.

java resume

Did yo notice that the job ads excluded from the search? That’s what exactly the minus operator does.

2. Use AND to search to see results that contain all of what you’re searching for.

Example: HTML5 AND tutorial 

HTML5 AND tutorial

Experimenting this kind of search sometimes bring you treasures.

The above search with [ HTML AND tutorial ] brought you educational resources. Go through those websites and that will help you understand “what it HTML”, “how it is used”, what other words are associated with them, more…

3. Use “OR” to combine searches (This OR That).

Example: [ developer OR engineer ]

This search modifier comes handy when you want to broaden the search.

developer OR engineer

 4. Use quotations search/Explicit Phrase.

Example: “boolean strings“

This search will return results with the exact phrase.

boolean strings

Want to know the best part?

You have found the GOLD.  Did you see Irina and Glenn’s web pages?. Both boolean expertise pages popped up on the above search.

You can start mining them to learn more about the boolean search.

Find Irina Shamaeva’s page here and Glen Cathey’s page here.

But Wait:

Let’s complete learning other operators.

5. Use site: to search inside single website (also called X-Raying).


This brings results only from the site

site indeed

6. Use intitle: to search titles only to look for words in the web page title

intitle:“recruitment tools”

From this search, you will get results based on the titles.

intitle recruitment tools

Now you found articles with recruitment tools. You can test and play with them to check which tool fits into your toolbox.

7. Use inurl: to search just in URLs only.

Example: [ inurl:sourcing tips ] will return results that contain the words “sourcing” and “tips” in the URL

inurl sourcing tips


We found a lot of tips and tricks regarding sourcing from this search.

You can go through all these websites later grabbing your coffee – You have a Yellow Box on the top, click that and download the checklist.

Now just keep reading. There is still more tips down this article.

8. Use intext: to search only within the text of a site leaving out the title and URL.

Example: [ intext:Java intext:Apache ] will return documents that mention the word “Java” and “Apache” in the text

intext Java intext Apache

9. Use define: or definition: to define a word.

Example: define:recruitment

define recruitment

10. Use filetype: to filter the search by file type like pdf for PDF’s and doc for Microsoft word docs.

Example: filetype:email template filetype:pdf OR filetype:doc

email template

 11. Use related: will list web pages that are similar to the web page you define.

Example: [ ] (finds company competitors)

related target

Tip: The easiest way to find competitors, where your target candidates hang out, is to use the “related” search strings in Google.

Simple…but very powerful.

Combining the search operators:

You thought that I will show you an example searching profiles using LinkedIn or indeed or GitHub is it?

No. Your guess is wrong.

I’m going to do something different.

In this search I’m using the [ site:edu ] to get to know about Java.

This type of search helps novice recruiters to get familiarized with technical terms. I have compiled the best tech glossary list guide and you can find all the technical terms here.



  • Running this kind of search will help you dig deep into google to find information that you need.
  • You get familiarized with the technical terms.
  • You will help you learn your candidate’s language and speak their language.


You can use any other site’s to get the information you need.

Example: [ site:edu intitle:Introduction intitle:Java filetype:ppt | filetype:pdf | filetype:doc ]

site edu intitle Introduction intitle Java

Tip: Don’t reinvent the wheel every time you create a search string. It’s better to save your best search strings (boolean search) in a desktop folder and in google drive.

Example 2: Let’s assume that you want to run a search to find boolean strings document or pdf or ppt from Irina’s blog.

[ intitle:boolean filetype:ppt | filetype:pdf | filetype:doc ]

boolean strings irina

For more resource:

You can refer Google here and here.

I highly recommend you looking into Irina Shamaeva’s page here and Glen Cathey’s page here for boolean strings.


You might not have thought about the importance of mastering the google search operators. But if you can start practicing this then you will start getting quality results.

Maximize your google search results paying closer attention to the search operators. A simple error with your search string will result in false results or with no results.

So always double check your search modifiers.

If you have any questions about this post, let me know in a comment below.