HOW TO: Search Google Efficiently in 3 Easy Steps

SMS Text

Finding exactly what you’re looking for through Google can be a rather hectic experience. We tend to pick broad, random search terms hoping we’ll find something close to our objective. We then start clicking through the results, then click through the search suggestions, then the related searches, and on and on…until we forget where we started and are at a loss at how to proceed.

This post is aimed at offering a good actionable system through three definitive three steps to finding what you need:

Step 1. Scratch the Surface: Use the Most Obvious Search Term

In this three-step case study on how to best use Google for your research needs, I’ll be using my own real-life experience as an example. One day, I decided to write an article on how businesses use social media to change brand perception.

The first problem I encountered was finding the actual search term. I instinctively went with the most obvious one that first came to mind:

  • (change) brand perception

The problem with generic search terms is that they either yield too many non-content results (company pages and profiles), or they return results which are far removed from what you need.

In my case it was the latter – the returned results were either too general (on how to change brand perception) or contained too many bad examples. What I really needed was at least three strong case studies.

Obviously, you can also try to narrow your initial search query using some more specific words. In my case these were:

  • (change) brand perception case study
  • (change) brand perception example
  • (change) brand perception case study Twitter

What to pay attention to at this stage:

  • Possible terms that would pop up with your main term now and then – these would allow you to narrow down your search.
  • Possible sites that would be worth digging deeper into.

Tools to help:

Step 2. Narrow Your Search: Identify and Search within Huge Information Sources

Despite many improvements, Google still has difficulty sifting through a vast resource to identify the most relevant page that best suits your needs. It has a two page return limit from the same domain – potentially losing some great results.

My usual way to handle this issue is to identify 3-5 huge resources relevant to my initial query and use SITE – an advanced operator to dig through them deeper.

In my case these were:

  • (change) brand perception
  • site: (change) brand perception
  • (change) brand perception

What to pay attention to at this stage:

  • Pay close attention to vocabulary – bloggers may use different words to describe what you have in mind.

Tools to help:

The two steps above should have helped you identify other relevant search terms that fit your needs. You don’t need to discover dozens of them. As a rule, I manage to identify 2-3 additional terms that will be relevant to what I need.

In my case study these were the following search terms:

  • brand crisis management
  • redefine brand

What’s Next? Rinse and Repeat!

Pay close attention to vocabulary – bloggers might use different words to describe what you have in mind.





Ann Smarty
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing, tutorials and her guest blogging project,
Ann Smarty
Get the latest news from Search Engine Journal!
We value your privacy! See our policy here.
  • Adam

    Searching google can be frustrating at times, especially with subjects that are highly sales based results. Thanks for the tips!

  • Ben Estate

    You have the exact points that I was thinking as well as has been doing the past few months. LOL, so nice to know that mine ways of searching is a professional one, i actually thought it was weird often.

  • Aluminium Kozijnen

    Very useful post.. Can you please explain that what brand perception..

  • John Meffen

    Just one little point to add, if I may, people often forget or -“stuff I am not looking for”, I admit that some of my searches can be a bit long, but …..

  • Shahbaz Khan

    As always, Great Article. For last 10 months i hardly missed any of your article.

  • manual directory submission

    This is a very nice blog you have contribute here. For this method should be try for the search google efficiently. And also book mark this nice topic.

  • Aer Conditionat

    Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been weeks for me. Well, this is the article that

    I’ve been waited for so long. Thanks, great share.

  • Zachari rayenz

    Here things are really best and I think that if we search something then we had best source this really best and search by best keyword.

    search engine optimization services

  • rebo7

    I think Google is still the best, but currently i’m using Bing, which seems to have got better in the last 6 months.