Think Google search is easy? It’s easier! Jai Vipra and Shiuli Dutta take you through Google tricks and tips that will solve problems you didn’t even know you had
Google is possibly the best thing that has happened to the universe (apart from supernovas and stuff), but it is a wonderful day when you realise Google has even more awesomeness just under the surface. How many times has Google saved you from walking into a library by providing you with efficient search results? How many times has it helped you from being devoured by the huge Yellow Pages by giving you optimum search results?
While ‘superior Google skills’ is not something you can add to your resume, it will certainly help you save time, get better quality results and generally feel nice about yourself.
Search within a site
Example – Relationship advice site: youthincmag.com
The “site:” operator allows you to search only within a particular website. You should search for relationship advice on the Youth Inc website, because we give unbelievably good advice.
Run a strict search
Example – allintitle: We Will Rock You
‘allintitle:’ is for when you want to search for web pages that have all your search terms in their title. Say you want to read about the Queen song We Will Rock You, but Google keeps giving you articles about rocks and minerals. Use allintitle to sift through the clutter. Similar operators are ‘allintext:’ and ‘allinurl:’.
Be up to date
Example –Car accident location: Lucknow
On Google News, you can use the ‘location:’ operator to filter out results from a certain location. A similar operator is ‘source:’, for example, source:Reuters for information only from Reuters.
Search for a specific file type
Example – Economic slowdown filetype: pdf
You can look for documents by file formats like PDF and Excel. It can be used for nearly any file type, for example, ‘filetype: doc’ for Word documents.
Learn new words
Example – define: serendipity
This operator will directly return the definition of any word you throw at Google.
Example – related: coursera.org
If you want to find websites that are related or similar to a particular website, use this operator. For example, the above query will return links to other free online courses.
Find related topics
Example – health benefits of ~sports
The ~ sign is used to search for related words as well; it will give you the health benefits of sports, games, playing and/or aerobics. Another example: searching for ~travelling will return results on backpacking and flight bookings too.
* If your operator isn’t working, try adding a space after the colon, or if there is a space, try removing it.
* Some operators cannot be combined. For example, using two or more ‘allin’ operators will not work.
Quote your search
Example – “college students on strike”
Typing your query in “quotation marks” tells Google to search for that exact phrase and not break it up.
Find a range
Example – Horrible car accidents 2010..2012
So you’re not satisfied with reading about car accidents in Lucknow and want to read about car accidents that specifically happened between 2010 and 2012. Use this trick to search. Notice that there are two full stops between the two years.
Example – 4+9/3*5
Google’s calculator is far more efficient than the one in your computer. Typing a maths problem directly in the search box will give you an answer. Note: This does not work for problems such as ‘If Ram has 23 watermelons and Sita has 11, how many watermelons do they plan on eating anyway?’ You will have to give numerical values.
Find the missing word
Example – In the jungle, the * jungle
Use the wildcard symbol (*) when you have forgotten a word from a phrase, for example, when you have a song stuck in your head and can’t recollect a word in the lyrics. The wildcard symbol can fill most blanks, from the right preposition to the right word in sentences.
Little Easter Eggs
Everyone knows about ‘do a barrel roll’ now. There are other hidden Google features you should check out:
* In Google Maps, type the shire as the start and Mordor as destination and choose walking directions
* Search, for ‘anagram’ and ‘define anagram’. Look at the first response
* Search for ‘recursion’ and click on Google’s first suggestion. Warning: you may need a class on philosophy to comprehend this
* Go to google.com/pacman. Do not blame us for the time wasted
* Type ‘find Chuck Norris’ in the Google search bar and click on ‘I’m feeling lucky’
* Type ‘answer to life, the universe and everything’ and hold your breath