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How many Google searches do you perform each day as part of your lead generation and qualification process? And how often do you have to change your search to find what you were really looking for? For those sales people who don’t have access to an enterprise sales intelligence application and rely on free resources like Google, there are a lot of inefficient searches performed every day. What many people may not know is that Google actually has advanced search capabilities that act as shortcuts to find the right information you need. The list below is not comprehensive, but I’ll guarantee they’ll change the way you listen, connect and engage with Customer 2.0.

Here they are, your Top 5 Advanced Search Tips for Better Prospecting:

#1 Exact Match Searches

A normal search in Google returns the most relevant results to your search term. But let’s say you are looking for something that exactly matches a specific keyword or phrase. Enclose your search phrase in double quotations and you’ll get just that – only exact match results.

Example:  Symantec “CMO”

This search would return results related to the company Symantec but have the word “CMO” on the page. A good way to do reputation management for your product or service or find recent news regarding a specific topic.

#2 Keyword Exclusions (Negative Keywords)

Say you want to do a search for a keyword or phrase but the results include lots of unrelated results. All you have to do is include a few negative keywords to exclude those results from showing up by using the minus sign (-) followed by your keyword with no space in between.

Example:  Walmart Competitors -Target

This search will display all results related to the company Walmart, except for any result related to the company Target.

#3 Site Specific Searches

Looking for a page on a site but can’t seem to find it? Look no further than the site search command (site:example.com) and search only the input site. Take it a step further and include a keyword of your topic with the site search and narrow your results.

Example:  site:www.insideview.com Executive Team

This search will display all results on http://www.insideview.com related to our Executive Team.

#4 Synonyms and Modifiers

Say you want to do a search for a product that goes by a few names including synonyms, similar words, etc. Instead of searching multiple times, use the synonym (~) or dynamic modifier (*) to combine results.

Examples:

Synonym SearchNew ~executive at SolarWinds

This search will find results related to the new hire at SolarWinds and all synonyms and similar words related to executive including CEO, CMO, exec, etc.

Dynamic Modifier SearchIBM hires new *

This search will display results related to the newest IBM employee in the news. The asterisk represents any potential word. In this case it could be VP sales, CMO, Director, etc.

#5 Similar Sites

Want to find similar or related sites to a prospect, competitor or partner? Use the  “related:” search command to do just that.

Example: related:finance.yahoo.com

This search will display the most similar sites (according to Google) related to finance.yahoo.com.  Results include Nasdaq, MarketWatch and Bloomberg.

#5.5 The Combo

I know the title says top 5, but I threw this one in here for fun. The combo is typically only used by advanced web users and SEO experts, but it’s extremely valuable once you get the hang of it. The combo uses any and all of the above advanced queries into one monster search to find anything you want.

Example: “Google” ~executive -www.google.com salary

This search will display results about the salary of Google’s executive team (including synonyms such as CEO, Chief, execs, etc)  on all sites other than Google.com.

By: Christopher Kelly

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