Aw, the ol’ mighty Google.
It’s the search engine of choice for many of us today. And with so many helpful features it’s easy to see why. With that, I’ve put together this article with some of my best tips and tricks for using it more efficiently. Read on to learn more about some of the best tips, tricks, short cuts, timesavers and hacks for Google.
Narrow Your Search by Excluding Search Terms
Say you want to do a search for jaguars. Your first few results might yield the car company and not the animal.
To remove cars from your results you can exclude them by putting a minus (-) in front of it like this:
Set a Timer
Whether it’s for cooking, exercising or putting your child in a timeout Google has a timer you can set that will alert you once it reaches zero. Just type in timer to get started.
Book a Flight
Type in flight to bring up the flight search box then type in your details such as where you are departing from, where you are going and the dates. Then press enter to get a comparison of a number of different airlines prices and times.
Explore the Galaxy and Beyond
This one is really cool. You can explore the universe with google.com/sky. You can also see mapping of the Moon and Mars at google.com/moon and google.com/mars respectively.
Get Times for Sunrise and Sunset
Type in either sunrise or sunset to get times.
Search For Your Public IP Address
Type in what is my ip address to view yours.
Get Language Translation
You can type in translate to bring up a translation feature.
Get Time Zone Information
Do you need to make a long distance phone call but you’re not sure if the recipient will be up yet?
Check the time zone by typing the name of the city followed by the word time (ex. Vancouver time).
Get Measurement Conversions
Quick, how many inches are in a metre?
It’s easy to find this out by typing in measurement conversion to get a feature that can convert imperial measurements to the metric system and vice versa. It also can convert weight, speed, temperature and volume among many others.
Use a Calculator
Simply type in calculator to bring up this function.
Get the Weather
Type in the name of your city and the word weather (ex Halifax Weather) to get a forecast for today and the upcoming week.
Use the Dictionary
Does the word independent end with -ent or -ant?
I bet you just looked back at how I spelled it, didn’t you.
Use the dictionary to find out this and more by typing dictionary then type in your best guess of the word. You will then get the correct spelling plus a definition.
Get Sport Scores
Keep up to date with your favourite teams by typing in the league name plus the word scores (ex NBA scores) to see real time scores.
Go Old School
By typing in Google in 1998 you can see how it looked when it was first started.
Do a Barrell Roll
Here’s another fun Easter egg. Type in Do a barrell roll to make your browser screen do a 360° spin.
Do a Search Using Placeholders
If you are doing a search and can only remember a few words you can use an asterisk (*) as a placeholder. Here’s an example, say I’m looking up the lyrics to a song and can only remember a few words from it. My search would look like this:
You can’t * get * * want lyrics
Force Google to Show You the Publishing Dates
One of my most used Google hacks is this one which makes Google display the date for a result. So no more doing a search, clicking on the result reading the site or article and then discovering you’ve wasted time because the information is out of date.
Now you can see the date stamp by adding this snippet at the end of the URL of the search result:
So for example, say you are searching for Best Summer Cottages in Nova Scotia, you would type in your query, press enter and then Google would displays the results. The URL would look something like this:
You then add the snippet of &as_qdr=y15 to the end of the URL:
Then press enter and voila, the results show the date.
Want to search for information on a image you have? You can upload it to Google Images and they will provide details on where the image is found on the web (if you are looking for free images to use on your website or social media channels then check out my article 2 of the Best Websites for Free Photos.)
There are certainly many more tips, tricks and hacks out there. What are some others you know? Leave your comments below.
And if you need further help visit Google’s support page.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Scott Trites is a Social Media Consultant and Owner of Knockout Social Media