The New Stuff

18 More Simple Google Search Tricks


I’m always amazed that more people don’t know the little tricks you can use to get more out of a simple Google search. Here are 19 of my favorites

  1. Use the “site:” operator to limit searches to a particular site. I use this one all the time, and it’s particularly handy because many site’s built-in search tools don’t return the results you’re looking for (and some sites don’t even have a search feature). If I’m looking for NetWidZ..! posts about iPhone, for example, I could try this search: iPhone site:netwidz.com.

  2. Use Google as a spelling aid. entering a word into Google is a quick way to see if you have the right spelling. If it’s incorrect, Google will suggest the correct spelling instead.

    Additionally, if you want to get a definition of a word, you can use the “define:” operator to return definitions from various dictionaries (for example, define: website).

  3. Use Google as a calculator. Google has a built-in calculator — try entering a calculation like 110 * (654/8 + 3). Yes, your computer also has a calculator, but if you spend most of your day inside a browser, typing your calculation into the browser’s search box is quicker than firing up your calculator app.

  4. Find out what time it is anywhere in the world. This one’s really handy if you want to make sure that you’re not phoning someone in the middle of the night. Just search for “time” and then the name of the city. For example, try: time Colombo

  5. Get quick currency conversions. Google can also do currency conversion. It only has the more mainstream currencies, though — if you’re trying to see how many Sri Lankan Rupees your dollars might buy, you’ll be out of luck.If you would like to convert minor currencies, be sure to be specific about the country. So, if you want to find out how many rupees your dollars might buy, you could try: 100 dollars in sri lanka rupees.

  6. Use the OR operator. This can be useful if you’re looking at researching a topic but you’re not sure which keywords will return the information you need. It can be particularly handy in conjunction with the “site:” operator. For example, you could try this search: LOL OR “Laugh out loud” site:netwidz.com

  7. Exclude specific terms with the – operator. You can narrow your searches using this operator. For example, if you’re looking for information about American Idol but don’t want anything about Simon Cowell, you could try: “american idol” -cowell

  8. Search for specific document types. Google can search the web for specific types of files using the “filetype:” operator. If you’re looking for PowerPoint files about GTD, for example, you could try: web 2.0 filetype:pdf

  9. Search within numerical ranges using the .. operator. Say, for example, you want to look for information about Olympic events that took place in the 1950′s, you could use this search: Olympics 1950..1960

  10. Area code lookup. Need to know where a phone number is located? Google will let you know where it is, and show you a map of the area, too. For example: 203
    This works with USA area codes but not sure about Sri Lanka and other countries

  11. Use quote marks to search for exact phrases. Googling “Fahiz Mohamed” only returns pages that contain my name, while searching without the quotes will return pages that contain “Fahiz,” “Mohamed” and “Fahiz Mohamed.” So quotes can help to really narrow down results.

  12. Use the wildcard operator to fill in the blanks. Use the wildcard operator (*) as a placeholder for a word (or words) in your search query — combine it with quote marks and it becomes even more powerful. For example, try “A * on both your houses.” You can use more than one wildcard in your search query, too, although the more you use the harder you’ll make it for Google to return a good result. Note that the wildcard can only act as a placeholder for whole words, not parts of words.

  13. Track a package. Enter a USPS, UPS or FedEx tracking code to find out where your package is.

  14. Track a flight. Type in a flight number to get its arrival/departure status.

  15. Get a stock quote. Type in a stock ticker symbol to get its price, together with a chart — for example, try GOOG. Some prices are delayed, some are real-time, depending on the exchange.

  16. Get quick conversions of pretty much anything. Not only can Google do currency conversions, it can quickly convert other things, too, like imperial measurements into metric. For example, try 1 mile in kilometers, 1/2 cup in teaspoons (useful for cooking) or 1MB in KB.

  17. Use Google’s cache to retrieve the previous version of a page. If a page has been altered or deleted, or the site hosting the page goes down, you might still be able to get the previous version of the page from Google’s cache — just click on the “cached” link next to the search result.

  18. The “music:” operator returns content related to music only. (Currently works only in US)

Incoming search terms:

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