But, beyond chucking a couple of words into the main search box, do you really know how to get the best out of it? We8217;ve done some research and put together a few tips on how to get Google to do even more of the work for you.
If you8217;ve got no intention of spending hours studying the ins and outs of every search option on Google then don8217;t worry. As long as you know the basics, then you should be able to save yourself a lot of time without having to delve too deeply.
Spelling 8211; Even if you8217;re not the world8217;s best speller, it doesn8217;t matter as clever old Google will do the hard work for you. If you don8217;t spell a word correctly, Google will automatically switch to the most common spelling for the jumble of letter that you8217;ve typed in.
Web history 8211; For many, the idea of anyone having access to their search history may well be enough to bring them out in a cold sweat and cause them to hit the 8216;delete history8217; option at the first available opportunity. But, unless you have anything truly incriminating on your browser cache, it8217;s wise not to be too hasty. Giving Google access to your web history means that Google will spot trends in your web history and offer tailored results according to what you searched for and which sites you8217;ve visited before. This will also help you to find any good websites that you8217;ve previously stumbled upon but are now unable to find again.
If in doubt, keep in general 8211; As with many things in life, the best advice is to keep things simple. If you8217;re looking for a stationery shop that you know of, but you8217;re not exactly sure what8217;s it8217;s called, then you8217;re better off just typing stationery shop and the town or road name, rather than trying to guess at the name. Chances are this will bring up what you8217;re looking for or give you a list of shops in that area and you can go from there, whereas misspelling (or 8216;misremembering8217😉 the name of the shop might not get you very far.
Web-friendly words 8211; Try to use web-friendly words where possible, by thinking about how the information you8217;re looking for would be written on the web. If you use a word that8217;s correct but not the most commonly used term for what you8217;re looking for then you might not get as many results as you8217;d expect. So, searching for fish and chip shop in your area is likely to get you more results than if you typed in takeaway cod, while searching for celebrity gossip will get you better results than typing in news about famous people.
Keep it short 8211; Start off using as few words as possible, then add words to refine your search if need be. If you add more words than you need to, then your results may prove to be too narrow and you might miss what you8217;re looking for.
No punctuation needed 8211; If the use of apostrophes and commas isn8217;t your strong point, then don8217;t panic; Google doesn8217;t recognise punctionation marks so even if you do type them in, they8217;ll be ignored. Similarly, the search function isn8217;t case sensitive so there8217;s no need to worry about whether you should be using upper or lower case letters.
Moving on from the basics brings us to Fast Facts 8211; a very useful aspect of the Google search offering but possibly the least well known. The idea is that you can type certain search criteria into the box and the results will be displayed instantly at the top of the page, as well as all the usual pages below which you can click through to if you choose.
Conversions 8211; Google will convert pretty much any unit of measurement 8211; all you need to do is type in the unit and measurement, such as 5 km to miles, saving you from having to search for a conversion site and type the info in there.
Stock information 8211; You can also search for real-time stock information using ticker symbols 8211; such as APPL for Apple 8211; and click through to Google Finance for more detailed information.
Calculator 8211; Number crunchers can also use Google to work out maths equations by typing them into the box 8211; Google can cope with anything from simple sums like 2+2 to more complicated equations. It8217;s also easy to convert currency by just typing 10 dollars in british pounds, or whatever it is you want to convert.
Dictionary 8211; Possibly the most useful Fast Fact option is the dictionary function. Rather than digging out your copy of the Oxford English Dictionary, you can simply add define: in front of any word in the search box and Google will automatically tell you the definition.
There are lots of extra parameters that you can use in the search box to narrow down your search. It8217;s worth taking the time to see what8217;s available as it could end up saving you a lot of time in the long run.
Filetype 8211; If you8217;re after a specific document then it8217;s worth knowing that you can search for PDFs, PPTs, or XLS files, by adding filetype: and the 3-letter file abbreviation after the title 8211; for example searching for Declaration of Independence filetype:pdf will find you a handy, printable document of one of US history8217;s most important documents, saving you a trip to the local library or the National Archives.
Missing words or letters 8211; If you8217;re searching for something that you don8217;t know all the words for then Google will help you to fill in the blanks. All you need to do is use an asterisk (*) in place of any missing words or letters and the search engine will find the answer for you 8211; a godsend for working out pesky song lyrics and completing especially challenging crosswords.
Exact quotes 8211; If you do know exactly the words you8217;re looking for then putting them within quote marks will refine the search. For example typing a direct quote from a book 8220;it was a bright cold day in april, and the clocks were striking thirteen8221; will only bring up pages where it8217;s written exactly the same, missing out sites where it8217;s misquoted. However, there is a danger of being too precise and accidentally excluding relevant results. For example, if you type 8220;george orwell8221;, then your results may miss out pages where the author is referred to by just his surname.
Related sites 8211; If you find a website that you like, then typing related: followed by the website URL should locate some relevant sites for you, saving you from repeatedly googling the same thing over and over. You can also search something within a specific site, or type of site, which is good news as many site8217;s own search functions are very clunky. To do this, just type site: followed by the type of site (such as .org .biz) or the site name. For example, site: org or site: washingtonpost.com followed by your search term.
Highlight essential words 8211; Google will usually ignore words like 8216;and8217;, but if they8217;re essential to your seach then you can highlight them by putting a + sign in front of them. Using + and 8211; signs, you can also highlight specific words that you do or don8217;t want to feature in your results. For example, you could search for a recipe for chicken caesar salad without anchovies by typing caesar salad recipe +chicken -anchovies.
Search within a range 8211; You can look for numbers within a certain range by putting 8230; between amounts, for example, Samsung Blu-ray player £1008230;£150. This is particularly handy if you8217;re on a limited budget and you don8217;t want to waste time searching through items that are way too expensive. You can also just type £1008230; to look for anything above that amount with no top limit.
Words meaning the same thing 8211; You can include synonyms in your search results by placing the ~ sign in front of your search term. For example, best Christmas ~gifts will return results for presents and tokens as well as 8216;gifts8217;.
Filter your image search 8211; You probably already know that you can also search for images, but trawling through millions of pictures can be tedious. Google lets you refine your search. As well as filtering by colour and image size, you can also whittle the selection down by only including photos including certain elements such as faces.
Instant results 8211; Google Instant is the feature that brings up possible results while you8217;re still typing your query.
Fill your schedule with nearby events 8211; Simply search for [events near me] or for a specific event type ([dog meetup], perhaps?) and you’ll see listings for local activities from around the web.
Movie Showtimes and Tickets 8211; When you’re in the mood for a movie, Search brings together showtimes, cinema locations, and ratings all in one place.
Recipe Search 8211; If you’re looking for a recipe in a pinch, just search on mobile for whatever you’re craving (say, chicken parmesan) and you’ll see a carousel of recipe suggestions.
Live sports scores 8211; For everyone from the fervent fantasy football aficionado to the casual fan, Search makes it easy to stay up on the latest scores. Type in the name of your favourite team or league, and get relevant real-time scores and recaps from recent games.
Styling and shopping help from Google Images 8211; When you8217;re exploring style ideas or browsing for your next buy with Google Images, images of products that are available to purchase are marked with 8220;product8221; in the Google app on Android and in your mobile browser. These include price, reviews and availability, making it easier and faster to visually research and shop.
Find your next job 8211; Now available in more than 100 countries around the world, you can search for jobs right on Google. For example, you can search for [jobs near me] or [retail jobs] to get relevant positions that match your skills. Jobs come directly from employers and career sites across the web, and you can save jobs, map your potential commute and click through to a third party website to apply.
Calculate the tip and split the bill 8211; You can use Google to calculate your tip when you’re in a restaurant. Simply search for [tip calculator], enter the cost of your meal, and the percentage you want to tip. You can even ask Google to help you split the bill evenly with your friends.
Convert cash 8211; If you’re heading out on a trip, here’s a tool that makes a ton of cents 8211; you can get real-time currency conversions right on Google. Search for something like [£500 in euros] and you’ll get a box with the current exchange rate and an interactive graph of change over time.
Quick access to appointments, flights and more 8211; Search can help you find information about your upcoming plans in a snap. If you’re logged into your Google account, searching for “my trips” or “my appointments” will show you (and only you!) relevant results about upcoming flights, hotel reservations and your schedule from Gmail and Google Calendar.
Get the numbers about your food 8211; You can search for nutritional information and find out the number of calories in your everyday foods. For example, you can ask “how much fat is there in chocolate cake?” and Google will break down the nutritional stats for you.
Ask complex multi-part questions 8211; You can ask Google “compositional queries” that require us to solve the first piece of the question before addressing the second part. For example, if you search [when were the members of NSYNC born], you will (feel old and) see the birthdates of Justin, JC, Chris, Lance and Joey.
Search with an image 8211; Upload a photo to Google Images to find the same or similar photos on the web. Click on the camera icon in Google Image search and Google will also tell you the origin and other details about the photo.
Advanced Search 8211; If all of these tricks still don’t get you what you need, you can use Advanced Search to specify terms you want to exclude or only find pages that are in the languages, regions, sites, or file formats you want.
Conway’s Game of Life 8211; (query [Conway8217;s Game of Life] 8211; yields a life simulation. Conway8217;s Game of Life is a zero-player game that uses a set of rules to evolve from its initial state. Google8217;s Game of Life evolves to spell Google (if you watch it for a while).
Solitaire 8211; (query [solitaire]) 8211; play computer favourite Solitaire
Snake 8211; (query [play snake]) 8211; play the classic mobile game Snake
Original source: https://www.pocket-lint.com/apps/news/110731-best-google-search-tips