Ever do a Google search and the results are inundated with pages from a site that you really don’t want to see? Google provides some not-so-widely used tools to help you hone down your results to something that is useful.
Today I was looking for a chimney sweep. No matter how I searched, the results were littered with pages from angi.com and homeadivsor.com, the same site for which I have had really bad experiences with. Although not the main topic of this post, this company purports to find you professionals in your area and has a wizard to get the info about the project and then finds professionals to help. Every time I have used this, it returns the message that there are lots of professionals in my area and asks for my contact info. Once entered, the message quickly changes to inform me that there are really no-one in my area to help me. But now, they have my contact info and subsequently spam me for weeks for other things. Needless to say, I don’t want to see results from this company when I search.
Google search provides a simple exclusion tool to leave these results out. Here’s my search syntax:
chimney sweep near me -angi.com -homeadvisor.com
The addition of a minus sign (-) immediately followed by a domain will exclude any result from this domain from your final results. Handy, no? You can also use the minus sign to remove specific words or phrases from your results. For example, if you didn’t want to see results that were located in Des Moines, you could add -“Des Moines” to the end of the search. The quotes around the exclusion phrase are necessary only when you want the exact phrase to be eliminated.
The quotes bring up an important point. By default, Google uses an AND between multiple words. In my search google is looking for pages that have both the word chimney AND the word sweep in them, but not necessarily the words chimney sweep together. To make it more accurate, the following syntax could be used to get at more specific results
“chimney sweep” near me -angi.com -homeadvisor.com -“Des Moines”
The above syntax should find chimney sweeps near me, eliminating results from the sites angi.com and homeadvisor.com and without Des Moines in the text.