Where would we be without Google? It is safe to assume that every single person reading this blog has used Google or, at least, knows how to use Google. However, there are times when no matter how specifically we use SEO keywords or a particular phrase, Google fails to show what we need to find.
Even after using Google for every little task, did you know that you might not be using this mammoth search engine to its full potential? Here are Google tips and tricks to maximize your search efficiency and help you find what you just want to.
How to use Google
1) Use Quotes
The simplest and most effective way to search for something is to use quote marks around your search parameters. For instance, if you search, “Little Robin Hood”, Google will surface only those results which have the words “Little Robin Hood” on the page. It is a very useful trick to find results containing only a specific phrase and exclude more common and less relevant results.
2) Exclude Terms
When you need to find something with an ambiguous meaning, a simple hyphen can help you find exactly what you need. When you search for ‘salsa’, you may get results for both the words – salsa-famous Mexican dish and salsa-a dance form. If you want to eliminate any one of the results, you can simply use a hyphen.
For example, if you want to search for salsa-but, not the dance, you can search as:
The – sign indicates that you want to eliminate all the results that have the word “dance” in it. It is one of the clever Google tips and tricks when are you trying to find some data without including any other information.
3) Search Within A Site
This one is delightfully simple. Now the search engines of most websites are quite poor. Instead of using the website’s search system, you can simply use Google to find your required information.
You can search a particular term within a site by searching with the following search parameter: nyc.gov followed by a search term. This will reveal the results only from the website nyc.gov.
4) Time Zones
Not sure if it’s too late to call your friend in Spain? Don’t fret, and try to do math in your head to find the exact time. Simply search for the term: What time it is in Spain? Google will surface the exact time in Spain, and you can call your friends without disturbing their sleep.
5) Track Your Packages
This is another neat trick you can use. You can use Google to find out where your packages have reached. You can provide your FedEx tracking number, or UPS, or USPS number directly into the Google search bar, and Google will disclose information about your parcel. This is much simpler than logging into individual sites and searching for your packages.
6) Money and Unit Conversions
Do you have a dedicated app on your phone just to convert miles to kilometers or pound to U.S Dollars? There is no use of such apps when Google can perform this task in a jiffy. Just like any other conversion app, you can use the Google search bar to provide you with conversion results. Just search convert 1000 U.S Dollars in Yen, and Google will give you accurate results in seconds.
Not only this, but you can also do quick calculations on your behalf too. No need to open that calculator app on your phone, just enter 5500 times 200 and Google will take care of the rest. It really makes the math simple and easy for your daily usage.
7) Search A Range of Numbers
Searching for a range of numbers is another trick that not many people know. For example, if are trying to find who was the U.S President between 1950 and 1970, you can enter in the Google bar the following search parameter:
U.S Presidents 1950 -1970. It will bring up results with dates ranging between the years 1950 and 1970.
8) The Power of The Asterisk
The asterisk works as a wild card within the Google search bar and can be used as a part of a word or in place of a missing word. Not only it can prove to be useful for searching a less definite article but also for completing phrases. When you use an asterisk, Google will leave a placeholder in your search parameters that will be filled by the search engine later. For example, it is a clever way to find song lyrics if you do not remember the exact words.
9) Get Customer Support Information
Is there something wrong with a product you recently purchased? Perhaps your new mobile phone or laptop is acting up? You can find customer support information for companies via Google search. Simply search for the company’s name followed by the key terms “customer service” (without the quotation marks) to get that company’s customer service phone number.
For example, Googling “Target customer service” will give you Target’s customer service hotline.
10) Get Word Definitions and Etymologies
Typing a search word into Google will most likely eventually take you to the definition of that word. But this often takes a few minutes of browsing through results to get there. However, there is a simpler way to get word definitions through your Google Search bar. You can use “DEFINE:” and then your word to streamline this dictionary feature and process. For instance, entering “DEFINE: something” will give you the word’s definition, including (for words appearing in the dictionary) its etymology and even a graph of its usage. Google can even sift the entire World Wide Web to help you find definitions for widely used acronyms and slang words.
11) Translate Words to Other Languages
If you have encountered a foreign word that you want to know the meaning of, or perhaps when writing a piece in a language that’s different from your native tongue, you may likewise ask for Google’s help to translate for you.
Simply add “in (language)” after the word you are having trouble with and Google will translate that particular word into the language you prefer—all without having to access Google Translate.
For instance, type in “Epoque” in English and Google will provide you a box that puts together the word side by side its English translation. A speaker icon can likewise be seen on the translation box, which will let you hear the correct pronunciation of the word.
12) Get Current Stock Prices
Into stocks? You can easily and instantly check any stock by entering its ticker name into the Google search bar. Searching for a company’s ticker will give you the stock prices for that company (e.g. GOOG for Google).
13) Find Your Android Phone
If you are missing your Android phone or suspect it to be lost or stolen, you can likewise use Google to find its location on a map or even make it ring. If you believe your phone to be stolen, you may likewise secure it using Google or erase all content from the device.
14) Get the Current Weather or See a Weather Forecast
Type in the weather to see what the weather is like where you are. This feature will let you know what the current temperature is and what the weather forecast is like for the coming week in the search results. If you want to check the weather for an area you are not currently in, simply type weather followed by the location. This can be useful when you are planning to travel or arranging activities for the coming days.
15) Filter Search Results by Type of Information
You can easily filter Google Search Results with the help of the category tabs on top of every search results page. This will refine your search by type starting from All (which collates all search results and ranks them by relevance) to Images, Videos, Books, News, and More (under which you will find more category options like Flights, Shopping, and Finance).
16) View Similar Pages
If you want to view pages that are similar to a particular search result item, use the drop-down menu next to the URL of that particular search result and select Similar, which will take you to a list of similar or related sites or pages.
17) Use Google’s Advanced Search Page
Google has a long list of search operators—a list so long that they can be confusing to many. This is where Google’s Advanced Search Page comes handy. This page lets you narrow down your search results based on region, language, file type, update time, and a lot more parameters to help you get the most relevant results for your query. The search engine also offers this advanced feature for their Videos and Images tabs.
There are plenty of other tricks up Google Search’s sleeves if you would only take the time to discover them. Beyond typing up words and phrases, you’ll find that the search engine offers many interesting and convenient ways to make your search life even easier and more rewarding. These clever tips will help you use Google to its full search potential.