What we say

The (hidden) powers of Google to help a PR pro out

Jul 27, 2017

“Just Google it” is a phrase used everywhere – at work, home and among friends. And let’s be honest, could I have graduated college without it? I have my doubts! Google is pretty darn amazing and makes our lives 10 times easier.

When the opportunity to attend a Google News Lab Training in Hamtramck came up last week (thanks, Issue Media Group, for coordinating!), I jumped on it. I love learning new things and was eager to spend a bit of time near the Motor City.

Thanks to a Google News expert from the Big Apple, we learned all about Google Advanced Search, Google Image Search, Google My Maps, Google Street View and Google Trends. But the best part of the presentation? Google Search Refinements.

With thousands of results popping up for a Googled topic or search term, it’s easy to spend valuable time looking for the right content you need.

Enter Google Search Refinements. Google Search Refinements are modifiers you can add to a Google search term to refine your results to get (almost) exactly what you were searching for right off the bat.

Here are a few of my favorite refinements:

  • If you’re looking for information about jaguar (the animal, not the car), put - in front of a word you want to leave out: jaguar speed –car.
  • To search for an exact match, put the phrase inside quotes: “tallest building in Michigan.”
  • Don’t know exactly what your searching for? Use an asterisk in a word/phrase for where you want to leave a placeholder: “largest * in the world.”
  • Looking for info about a specific topic on a specific website? Google Search Refinements has you covered. If you’re looking for info about net neutrality on an official government website, type the following in your search bar: net neutrality site:.gov.
  • You can also refine what file type you want. For example, if you’re looking for a PowerPoint presentation about health care on an official government website, you’d search: health care site:.gov filetype:PPT.

Google Search Refinements not only lessens the time you spend searching for content on Google, but also helps filter out fake news. PR plays a key role in helping relay the facts, and it’s our job to do our due diligence.

Ready to put Google Search Refinements into practice? Check out this forum: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/2466433?hl=en