Tips & Tricks to become a Google Master!
Friend: I want to surprise my girlfriend by baking cookies tonight. Any idea how to go about it?
You: No idea. Just google it.
“Google it”- it speaks volumes about a company when its name becomes a verb in people’s daily lives. Google’s powerful and integrated search capabilities are evident from the fact that it processes about 5.5 billion search queries a day (2 trillion search queries a year)! The complexities of the algorithm used in searching by Google is a stark contrast to its clean and simple-to-use interface. Yet, not many are aware that even its seemingly simple search interface is packed with numerous capabilities. Since Google has become such an important part of our lives, its useful to know some of these capabilities and search more effectively. In this article, we look at some basic Google search tips and shortcuts that can significantly reduce the time you spend in searching and enable you to speedily zero in on what you are looking for. Start using these tips now and make the most of Google search.
Google Search Tips & Tricks for Better Search Results
1. Exact phrase search
When you type the words that you want to search for, Google shows you a mix of search results that’s also based on synonyms and related words that it deems relevant to your search. However, if you only want to see the results that match the exact words you type, just use double quotation marks around them and search.
2. Exclude a word from search results
If you want to search for a recipe for baking a cake or cookies without egg, you’d probably type ‘cookie recipe without egg’, which can show you some unwanted results that’ll also contain the word ‘without’ but not necessarily ‘without egg’. Instead, simply use the minus (-) sign before the word that you want to exclude and type ‘cookie recipe -egg’.
3. Include synonyms for a specific word
If you are searching for ‘quick cookie recipe’, you might also be interested in links containing the words ‘fast’, ‘instant’ or ‘speedy’. To include these results higher in Google’s relevancy algorithm, just use the tilde (~) symbol before the word whose synonyms you want to include. Thus, your search term can be ‘cookie recipe ~quick’.
4. Fill in a missing word
Suppose you are searching for a phrase but can’t remember a word in it, that’s not a problem! Just use the star (*) symbol in its place and Google will figure out the missing word for you. Thus, searching for ‘beating * the bush’ will show you results for both ‘beating around the bush’ and ‘beating about the bush’. Similarly, searching for ‘another * in the wall’ will show your top result as the song ‘Another brick in the wall’ by Pink Floyd.
5. Search between 2 values
When you want to search for your country’s prime minister within a time range (say, 2000-2016), you can simply use the double dots (..) and type your search query as ‘Indian prime minister 2000..2016’. The search results that appear will focus on the prime ministers within this timeframe. This can also be used in other cases such as ‘leap years 1958..2017’, in which the leap years between 1958 and 2017 will appear in bold in the search results.
6. Search for similar or related websites
Liked a site and want to find similar sites? No problem, says Google. All you have to do is type ‘related:’ and then type the site name without a space in between. Google will show you a number of websites that it deems similar or related to the site name you searched. For example, ‘related:twitter.com’ will show you other social network sites in its results such as Facebook, Hootsuite, LinkedIn, Google+ and Flickr to name a few.
7. Search for pages containing a specific word in their title or URLs
If you want to search only for websites containing a specific word in their URLs or titles, Google has provided you an easy way to do so. Just type ‘intitle:’ followed by the word without a space in between. For example, ‘intitle:trump’ will show you all the sites that have the word ‘Trump’ in their titles/URLs from his Twitter a/c and Wikipedia page to news headlines pertaining to him.
8. Conversion of units and currencies
When you want to do a conversion from one unit to another (such as km to mile) or from one currency to another (such as USD to INR), rather than looking for a site where you can do the conversion, let Google do it for you. Simply type in this format: (number) (unit) to (unit). For example, to convert 100 km to miles, just type ‘100 km to mile’ and Google will give you the answer (62.1371).
9. Look up the time of any location
To know the time in any location, be it a country, state or city, just type ‘time’ followed by the location name. For example, typing ‘time New York’ or ‘time Alaska’ will show you the time in New York and Alaska respectively. Similarly, typing ‘time Russia’ will show you the time in different places in Russia depending on their respective time zones.
10. Google as calculator
You can also use Google to do simple calculations for you such as addition, multiplication, division, powers etc. Just type what you want to calculate in the search box using the standard operators and Google will give you the answer. For example, typing ‘91750/120’ in the search box will give you the answer as 764.58333. It will also open a calculator in case you want to do further calculations!