Written by nitinpai on January 6th, 2008
10 Most Amazing Google Search Tricks
Searching on Google can be a magical experience once you find out how to make your search queries efficient. By making efficient I mean using some tricks or the cheat sheet provided by Google itself to quickly find what you actually require. Having being hooked onto Google for a long time now, I have come across some amazing search tricks which can change the way you look at Google today.
In this article I will list down the search tricks which I use quite frequently. Be it finding time, meanings or watching the cricket score, searching PDF’s, with Google as the search engine life cannot be more simpler. Here are the 10 most amazing Google Search tricks:
1. Different Types of Files at your will
How many times would you have asked for materials (PDF, PPT, DOC) for a particular topic from a friend? Its almost everyday that we might have the necessity to ask them either for knowledge, preparing a presentation, white-paper or for case studies. Such times it mostly difficult to look out what to exactly search for because most of the times you don’t know about the topic at hand. But this petty keyword unleashes its lethal power at such occasions.
Let’s say I want to implement a case study on SOA which means I have to read a lot of information for SOA. So I just have to find materials which might have already been uploaded on the web in the form of PDF’s, DOC’s or PPT’s. These materials can be easily obtained by doing a search for:
- PDF – service oriented architecture filetype:pdf
- PPT – service oriented architecture filetype:ppt
- DOC – service oriented architecture filetype:doc
2. Scholarly Search
If you want some authenticity of the materials then it would be better to find the materials from educational institutes or universities. For this use the Google scholar search. But suppose you don’t like to switch to Google scholar search you can add the same query with an additional parameter to the normal Google search box,
3. Meanings of any word in an instant
Now you do not have to carry a dictionary or install a dictionary software just for the purpose of finding out a meaning of a word. With the wealth of information in Google’s hands, its a piece of cake to find out the meaning of the word. Just use the define: keyword. The meaning would of course be displayed but also a set of other links which might have an alternative definition are also given out with the link to read more about it.
You would argue here that, a dicitionary gives out more information than this. But what about words that don’t actually fall within the vocabulary. Suppose you want to know what SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) is then you would have no choice. Google Search comes to your rescue in this case,
4. Find the time of any location
Many of us might be probably working for client which are based at different locations. And communication has to be carried out frequently carried out in such cases. But before a communication you have to know which time zone the location is falling into otherwise you would be causing a disturbance.
I have seen people installing time zone software for showing the time of the location they would be calling to. But with Google at your hands you don’t have to install any software. It would be just simple to use a query for finding the current time such as,
psst….look closely the time on the little clock graphic. It also shows the perfect time!
5. Weather at your fingertips
I had been to GOA for a Christmas vacation in the last week of December. But I made a mistake of not finding out the temperature of GOA before leaving. Had I known that it is hot even in the winter I would not have made the mistake of carrying additional luggage consisting of blankets and jackets.
If you are thinking to visit a place it is useful to know what the temperature of the place is before hand, it can make efficient packing. Google helps you here too. Just use this query without asking anybody or waiting for the news to make a weather report. I wish I had thought of this!
6. Google does live commentary too!
Indians are cricket fanatics. But its amusing to see the organizations here trying to put together tactics to devoid cricket lovers from wasting time to watch the cricket scores instead of doing their work. What I think they fail to understand is that by blocking the live cricket scoring sites they are actually making the employees more curios and provoking them to hunt for proxy networks or listen to the radio or chat with their friends elsewhere.
Jokes apart, you actually don’t need proxy networks to view the live cricket scores if you at least have access to Google. If you want to find the latest info about all the cricket matches then just type,
But if you want to find out only about a particular match then use only the names of the two playing nations,
Remember that the scorecard will come only when the play is going on.
7. Calculate with your browser
Every OS has a calculator inbuilt but when the browser is the thing which is constantly open whey bother to open up a calculator. Open Google and straight away type your mathematical expression. You can go all the way from basic arithmetic to trigonometrical expressions. This is simply amazing stuff accomplished by Google.
8. Compare your currency with others
Now that the dollar is declining, the rest of the world must be busy trying to check the impact of the dollar on their currencies. But first of all one must know how much a particular currency amounts to when cashed in another currency. Google’s inbuilt currency converter just does this.
9. Keep track of the stocks
With the booming stock market it is very important to track the stocks on a day to day basis. Putting a stock ticker in the search box is the most obvious thing you would think of. But it is not always you would remember the stock ticker, you should add the keyword “stocks:” to the company name.
The best part of the obtained result is that it provides a chart which shows the trend in the company’s stock along with important statistics.
Note: Currently the results are restricted to the companies listed in the US stock markets.
10. Wanna find some faces?
This is most interesting trick. You might be needing images for various occasions and searching for images is the most difficult thing because what we expect might not be possibly mapped to a query. But Google has a parameter in place for images in situations we need an image which describes a face.
Suppose I search for the term “happy” then the Google results page displays smileys. But I would like to use images of happy people. Even if I choose the term as “happy face” the results don’t show images which contain people. For this there is a parameter “imgtype” which you can use with the URL. For this put in the URL as follows:
There are many more variations which can be bought about with the above tricks thus making your search experience not only enriching but also exciting. If I have missed any tricks of common usage, feel free to mention it.
Update 1: Google keeps on experimenting new ways of searching. If you liked the above tricks then don’t miss out my article which mentions how to use the new search experiments introduced by Google. Believe me, they are brilliant!
Update 2 : Search for your favorite movie information with Google and enjoy it even more. Have fun with the 5 Most Fantastic Movie Search Tricks With Google.
Update 3 : Why not carry out the search for exactly what we are looking for? Get excited for trying out 5 Most Exciting Search Tricks with Google Operators