15 Simple Tactics to Help Any Attorney Become a Google Rockstar

By Michael Holmes

You may think you’re a Google rockstar…

…a kingpin even.

I mean how hard is it? Type in what you want and up come the results. Who’s better than you?

But you may be wrong. Sorry to tell you.

The fact is: there are many tips and tricks to take your “Googling” to the next level. And apart from the authorship benefits of Google +…benefits that some of the top attorneys on Google + are taking full advantage of there are more ways to get the most out of your search engine (sorry BINGers).

Smooth Operators
Operators are the keys when you are searching for specific information with a Google search. Think of operators as being the opposite of overly generic search terms. Here are some examples:

a) Site–This only searches the pages of a particular site. Example: looking for a page in Barrons and only Barrons you’d type in the search bar site:barrons.

b) ~ — This squiggly little beauty would search related words. Example:looking for something related to college you’d type in ~college and get related words such as “higher education” and “university.”

c) “ “ –This parenthesis would search for an exact phrase and not each of the words separately.

d) .. — This ellipsis shows all results within the designated range. Example: looking for results between 2008 and 2010 the command would be 2008..2010 in the search bar.

e) filetype: — This allows searches to be in the type you designate. Example: need a PDF on history of batteries? You would type in the search bar filetype:pdf batteries.

f) intitle: — This allows results with only that specific word in the title. Example: Need a title with the word velocity type intitle: velocity in the search bar.

g) * — This replaces the word being searched with common other terms. Example: *swallow would produce Red rumped swallow,  Lesser Striped Swallow, and etc.
h) -minus sign –This removes all results that are just getting in the way. Example: you want a pizza recipe but hate green peppers you’d type in pizza recipe -green peppers.

Google Scholar
Google Scholar is fantastic if you are attempting to do very deep research. It only searches academic and scholarly work.

i) author: –This will search for papers by the author. Example: need a paper by Thomas Greene, type in author:greene.

j) “ “ — This is for more specific results. You can put the authors full name or initials in quotes. Example: the paper is about ancestry and its by Thomas Greene and Bill Winston, you would type in author:greene ancestry “b winston”.

Some More Sneaky Tricks
These are some other tactics to turn you into a Google zen master:

k) define: –Good for word definitions. just put in front of the word you want to define.

l) Calculations — Use +, -, *, / for quick math problems with opening your calculator app. Example: (5*2)/ 6+44+50-10

m) Unit conversion — Just type in a sentence EXACTLY what you’re looking for. Example: 54 pounds in kilograms

Keyboard Shortcuts
They’re there for a reason so you might as well learn them:

n) Ctrl +F — Use this when looking over ANY document or web page. Press Ctrl + F, type in the word you’re trying to find, and all instances of the word are highlighted for you.

o) Ctrl + L –When doing a lot of searches using this  command to shorten the cycle of Googling. Try it…you’ll see what I’m talking about.

And now, my friends I ask you: what are tactics can we use to move from rockstar to Google Zen Master?

Michael Holmes is in Market Development for Marathon Consulting–a NY based IT firm. He primarily serves the legal industry. You can visit his Google + page and say hi.


Preston Clark is a licensed attorney and entrepreneur based in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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