Top 10 Incredible Google Search Tricks
As I embarked on starting the wholekitandcaboodle.ca blog, I researched on how to interact with search engines, particularly Google. As a result of that research, I discovered a whole world of tips on how to search more effectively and leverage the power of Google for everyday web browsing. There are some amazing Google tricks and in this article, I have listed my Top 10 tricks that I have started to use on a day to day basis.
1. Searching for specific file types
If you are searching for a specific type of file, when you search on a subject you can add an attribute to the search that returns links with that file type. The search engine supports a number of file types, so it’s worth trying anything to start with. You can also exclude a specific file type by adding a minus sign before the attribute. Examples in blogging filetype:pdf, maroon 5 filetype:mp3, project management filetype:ppt.
2. Track a package
I never knew this existed, but I was expecting a package and I tried it. Enter a UPS, FedEx or USPS tracking number to get a direct link to track your packages. This way you avoid having to go to the site directly, and can quickly track your package from a simple on line entry, you don’t even need to enter the delivery company.
3. Meanings of any word in an instant
You can pull up the definition of a word in an instant. Just use the define: keyword. The meaning is displayed along with a set of other links providing additional background on the word. As an example define:abstract. You can also search definitions for words that are not typically in the dictionary, for example define:SOA and define:HTML.
4. What time is it?
In a world of globalization, many of us will often need to determine the time of the location we are calling, avoiding getting your client out of bed to answer their buzzing cell phone at 3am. So with Google you simply enter time and the location, you’re calling. As an example time Mumbai. You will notice the clock is very accurate, an excellent source for setting watches by.
5. Weather and movies at your fingertips
If you type “weather” or “movies” followed by your postal/zip code or City e.g. weather M5H 3Y7 it will display the latest weather as the first search item it returns. The same works for movies, which will display the movies and show times near you.
6. Experimental Searches
The following Google experimental searches are worth checking out. They provide information around how the world searched last year through to the current search trends today. This can be valuable, especially for Blog writers looking for the popular subjects to Blog about. Check out www.google.com/trends and www.google.com/zeitgeist.
7. Calculate with your browser
Windows has a built in calculator, but it’s cumbersome to access quickly via the start menu. The chances are your browser is always open. To calculate you simply type your mathematical expression and it will display the results. The functions range from simple arithmetic to trigonometrically expressions. “If only Google was available when I was at school”, I hear you say. Although the reality is you are not learning how to do the calculation you’re simply getting the answer, so I would encourage you to keep hush about this function with your children. Direct them to www.khanacademy.org, for the “how to”. Examples include 1926 * 1500 and sin (45) / cos (90). Impressive I know.
8. Convert currency, imperial, metric etc
An extension of the calculator described above is the embedded conversion functionality. This is ideal if are shopping online and want to find out how much you’re going to save by buying it in the US versus Canada. You simply enter 199USD in CAD, and the results will be displayed in your browser. The same is true for converting Kilograms to Pounds, Celsius to Fahrenheit and Kilometers to Miles and vice versa. I don’t have an exhaustive list, so I would suggest trying what you need and see if it does it for you.
9. Track a flight
Rather than go to the airline or airport website, if you need to find out the status of a flight simply enter the airline and flight number in your search, and hey presto you’ll get the current status of that flight in your return search. As an example, Air Canada 425.
10. Filling in the blanks?
Ever have that burning question, what did that person do? Or what was that place famous for? Well you can search for the missing answer by simply entering Alexander Fleming discovered * and the answer will either be clear from the most common searches or will returned in the results.
Please leave comments on any tips and tricks you may have come across using Google.