Google has built its reputation on its intuitive interface, but don’t let that fool you – the search engine has plenty of intriguing and valuable features hidden just behind its streamlined homepage. Take advantage of these tricks and tips to make your online research faster, more effective, and more exciting.
Within the landscape of the contemporary Internet, Google looms large. In the early days of the Internet, people in search of information had to either have access to specialized data indices or else know where to find the info ahead of time. But now, anyone and everyone can access a stunning amount of information just by typing their query into Google’s simple search bar.
That alone is an impressive feat, but did you know that Google does even more? Its little-known search options and unique features can help your searches become more efficient and informative. All you have to do is, use the tips and tricks in this article.
These secret strategies will make you a more efficient online researcher, able to navigate the sea of information on the web just like a professional – or even better. The tips are divided into sections to make them easier to read through, but united; they will help you become a Google master.
Optimize Your Basic Google Searches
Search by Voice
Click the Microphone button below the search bar on the Google app for iOS or Android, or at the end of the search bar on the homepage in the Chrome browser. Then you can say aloud what you’re searching for, just as you would to a non-digital friend, and Google will faithfully show you the results.
Search by Image
Ever want to see if a particular photo shows up anyplace on the web? No need to go the roundabout route of describing the picture while using Google Images. Instead, just click on the Camera button in the Images search bar, upload an image or paste an image URL, and hit enter – Google will work to find matching images. This feature isn’t unique to Google – here are some alternatives – but it’s definitely cool.
Go to www.google.com/ncr to try the latest Google features. Also, you can access this by clicking “Use Google.com” in the bottom-right corner of the home page if you ended up on your country’s native Google page.
Search in Private
If you want to search for something without leaving too much of a trace, try Startpage (also known as lxquick). It lets you use Google’s search engine while avoiding its tracking software so that your IP address and location, for instance, stay secret.
Did you know that just like it can search books and try to find the best ones for you, Google can search through apps to help you find what you want? Under More, click on Apps, and you can enter your search query. Also, after you sign into your Google account on Play Store, if you have an Android device, you can install apps directly.
Customize Your Search Settings
Under Settings, you have the option to tailor your searches to just what you need. For example, you can personalize instant predictions and language and location, and if you want to block explicit content, SafeSearch is always an option. Even you can ask Google to answer your voice searches by speaking aloud.
Google Tricks to Make Better Searches for Beginners
Search by Keywords
Before you type in your search, make sure your query includes you’re your keywords. That way Google can ignore generic words like “what is a” and get straight to the most relevant results.
Search a Specific Phrase
If you want to find only results that contain a specific phrase verbatim, use “” (double quotes) around that phrase. That way, if you want to search for “I love you,” let’s say, you won’t get any results for “I don’t love you.” What a difference!
Search by Location
Make sure to include your desired Postal code or city name at the end of your search query so Google will only show you results in the appropriate location. You can avoid wading through unrelated results!
Use Search Operators to Make Influential Queries
Use OR if all you want is one of the phrases or words in your query to elicit results. For example, “Chinese recipes OR Italian recipes” will help you find recipes that fall into one cuisine or the other, no fusion required.
Use AND if you want results to include all the words in your query. So, “Chinese AND Italian recipes” is more likely to help you find foods that combine the cultures.
Use * (asterisk) to search for unidentified words. Say you only remember part of a quotation – type in “He who * is lost,” and Google will fill you in on “hesitates.”
Use – (minus) if you want your search to exclude certain words. “Martin Luther –King” will help you find information about the guy who started the Protestant Reformation.
Finally, use AROUND to do a proximity search. If you want to be sure that “cheap” and “tickets” are close to each other in your results, this is the operator for you.
Search between 2 Numbers
Use .. (Two periods) to search between 2 numbers in Google. For example, “prime numbers 17..100” will show the prime numbers in that range.
Advanced Google Tricks for Making Greater Searches
Search within a Specific Website
Use site: to search within a specific website.
- Find Specific Files
Use filetype: to search for certain kinds of files, like PowerPoints or PDFs.
- Search for Terms in Page’s Titles
Use intitle: and allintitle: to search for terms in the page’s titles.
- Search for Terms in page’s URLs
Use inurl: and allinurl: to search for results with specific terms in the URLS.
- Know What Links to What
Use link: so you know what websites link to which others.
- Find Related Sites
Use related: to find out which websites have similarities with other ones.
- Search the Web by exact Country, Location or Time
You can search only for results relevant to your context just by looking through Search tools below the search bar.
- Make advance Recent Searches
Also under Search tools is the option to set up a custom time range for your search results.
- Search Images by exact Color, Size, Time, Type or Copyright
Filter your images to get exactly the kind you want – it’s all under Search tools. You can even search for clip art, line drawings, and other specific types of drawing.
- Make Advanced Search
Click Advanced Search under settings to combine a bunch of these filters. Probably the most efficient tip of them all!
Google Tricks for English Enthusiasts & Learners
- Check Spellings
Google what you think the right spelling is, and if you’re wrong, Google will helpfully correct you.
- Get Synonyms, Antonyms, Pronunciations and Definitions
Use define: and Google will become your own dictionary.
- Find Origins of Words
Use etymology: to learn where words come from.
- Make Anagrams
Finding out which words you can make using a given set of letters is a neat little feature for when you feel like having fun.
Google Tips for Working with Numbers
- Convert Numbers to Words
Google numerals and “in English” and the results will tell you how to say the number in English words.
- Solve Calculations
Use calculator and Google becomes your personal arithmetic assistant.
- Convert Time zones, Currencies and Units
If you type “convert to” in your search bar, Google will do it for you.
- Calculate Tips
Type in tip calculator and Google will make sure you leave an appropriate amount.
Get Real time Info, Conveniently and Quickly
- Get Local Times
Just Google time and the location you’re interested in.
- Get live Weather Info
Weather and the location you’re interested in will help you be ready for the weather anywhere.
- Get Movie Show Times
Google movies and a location like a city to find out what’s playing.
- Get Sports Information
Google can bring up info about any tournament you’re interested in, from any year. How convenient!
- Ask for Navigation and Get Directions
Start a query with “navigate” or “direction” and include your start and end points to get help getting where you need to go.
- Find Out Sunrise and Sunset times
Using sunrise & sunset in your search can get you the daylight hours for anyplace on earth.
- Get Stock Quotes
Use stock to get the up-to-date real-time stock prices. For example, “GOOG” will to reveal Google’s current stock price. Of course, you shouldn’t use it as an option to the market rates, but for quick look-ups, it just can’t be beaten.
- Track Parcels
If you include the tracking number in your query and identify it as such. Google will let you follow the position of your UPS, FedEx, or USPS packages.
- Get Flight Info and Search Flights effortlessly
Googling flight makes the up-to-date real time flight info about any flights pop up in your search results. It will tell you your flight number or code. You can also use flight to as a way to find list of flights from one place to another place along with their price lists.
Google Tips to Find Information Successfully
- Know your IP Address
Ever wonder what your IP address is? Type IP address in the search bar to find out your device’s current IP address as obtained by Google.
- Get Movie Info
Google’s Knowledge Graph, which can give you nearly comprehensive information about any famous movie.
- Get Travel Spots
Search for the attractions in any given city, and Google will provide you with a list of can’t-miss attractions you’ll definitely want to add to the itinerary for your vacation.
- Find Songs by Movie or Singer
It’s easy and efficient to use Google to try to find songs from your favorite artist or band. Just type in your query (“songs by” and then the name of the band or artist will work well) and then a list of all the songs will pop up, along with links so you can listen to them immediately, and even additional information.
- Get Information about Important Personalities and Celebrities
If you’re interested in finding out more about a particular celebrity or other famous person, Google their name and the information you want to find out. From birthdays to height, Google can provide plenty of public information for all your curiosity needs.
- Get Dietary Info
It’s definitely important to know what you’re putting into your body, so before you put a certain food into your mouth, put its name into Google’s search bar. Google’s results will tell you calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, and more, so you’ll have all the information necessary to make healthy choices right at your fingertips.
- Make Food Comparisons Efficiently
Even beyond that, Google can further help you choose appropriate foods by comparing two different ones. Just ask it to display the nutritional comparison between, say, peas and broccoli, and it’ll have a helpful comparison that you can use in order to ensure that you are creating a healthy and balanced diet.
- Get Dates of Vacations & Holidays
Google the name of the holiday and the word date and Google will tell you, so you know exactly when to celebrate what.
- Get Recent Earthquake Information
One very helpful and important feature of Google is that if you search earthquake, it shows you results about earthquakes that have happened recently throughout the global community.
- Know what Other People are Searching for
If you want to be in the know about the searching habits of people the world over, use Google Trends, a nifty feature that shows you what the popular searches are in any country you please. You can take it to the next level by selecting a category for more-detailed information or by clicking a specific trend in order to learn more about it.
- Search Old Newspaper Archives
With Google, you can access the digitized news contents spanning back several years or more. Start by typing “site:google.com” and then your topic of interest, and enjoy exploring all the different media reports.
Special Google Tips to Solve Problems
- Set Timer
Use the timer command whenever you need an alarm after a set amount of time.
- Browse Offline Sites
Typing in cache: at the start of your query allow you to browse websites, which are temporarily down because of problems with their servers. Technically, obviously, you’re not visiting the sites themselves but rather Google’s cached copies, but when this is the only way to access offline content, it’s definitely just as good.
- Browse Blocked Sites
You can also use cache: to browse websites, which are restricted by your school, company, government, or other monitoring agency, since they can’t block the offline cached pages. Thanks, Google!
- Read Paid Articles Without Any Cost
Another great feature of cache: is that it enables you to read cached versions of a paid or pay-walled article for free even if you haven’t paid for the articles themselves. An extra trick is to paste the article’s URL and into the search bar, which may allow you to bypass pay walls.
- Translate from One Language to Another
Asking Google for a translation from one language to another lets you access material you otherwise might not be able to, and it’s getting more and more accurate every day, especially for the major world languages.
- Bypass Firewall using Google Proxy
Google itself doesn’t let you do this, but you can use Google Translate and Google Mobilizer as back doors to anything that’s blocked.
Google Tips & Tricks that Requires Signing in with Google Account
- Personalize your Search Settings
Log into your account, and whatever settings you save will follow you from device to device.
- Search your Contacts
On mobile devices, as long as you give Google access to your contacts, all you have to do is ask and Google will make a phone call for you.
Start a query with “show my photos from” or “my photos from” and Google will find the photos you want for you.
- Check Meetings and Events on Calendar
Ask Google your plan for a particular day, and it’ll tell you exactly what you’ve got on your agenda.
- Set Reminders
If you’re a Google Now user, no need to remember things on your own – ask Google to remind you, and a notification will pop up on your browser.
What’s your favorite Google trick? Let us know if we missed it in the comments below.