Summary: Google offers a plain and simple interface, but hides many powerful tricks and tools under the hood. These tips and tricks will allow you to make better searches, do better research and search for useful content easily and conveniently than ever before.
In the today’s Internet world, Google is the new interface to the web and its websites. Gone are the days when scholars and researchers put in some words, and it searches the volumes of indexed data to help them in scholarly or research works. Now is the time when everyone starts the web with Google.
Google Search or Google has become a teacher, assistant, knowledge archiver, and God knows what more than a simple search engine. It collects data from all over the Internet, looks for meaningful information and stores the knowledge in its data centers to provide it later in most simple yet useful forms to the people. It also provides various tips and tricks, search options and special features to make better and effective searches; and that’s what we’re going to share in this article.
These tips and tricks for Google Search will help you search smarter and find what you’re looking for easily and conveniently than ever before. These will increase your productivity at making online researches, and you will feel the web’s information on your fingertips. The tips and tricks are grouped in sections or categories to improve accessibility and readability. Let’s dive in.
Basic Google Search Tips and Tricks for Better Search Experience
Search by Voice
Google allows you to make voice searches. If you’re browsing Google on its Chrome browser or using Google application on Android or iOS, then you can click on the Microphone button and directly speak to Google what you’re looking for, and it shows the results after receiving the input from you.
Search by Image
Google can’t only search for words but also for images. You can now use a photo of your friend to search more of his/her photos. The simple trick is to click the Camera button in the search bar of Google Images, and paste an image URL or upload a picture from your system to make an image search. You can also find some more alternative reverse image search engines here.
www.google.com/ncr can be used to open Google.com to make better global searches or try the various new or experimental features that are available only on google.com. You can also click “Use Google.com” on Google’s bottom-right corner to achieve the same result. However, it’s only present there if you tried opening google.com but got redirected to your country’s local Google page.
Make Private Searches
Google in spite of its vast features don’t seem fit for privacy enthusiasts because of the tracking concerns. An alternative – Startpage (also known as lxquick) – allows you to make Google searches without worrying about its tracking or other privacy problems. It shows searches from the Google but don’t track your IP address or your location info or such.
You can ask Google to help find smartphone applications for you. Click More > Apps to check out the applications based on your search query. You can also install apps right to your Android device after signing in to your Google account for Play Store.
Customize your Search Settings
Search Settings can be opened by clicking on Settings at bottom right of Google’s homepage. You can customize your search settings as per your requirements to get more out of Google results. SafeSearch can be used to block explicit results, and you can even ask Google to speak answers to your voice searches. Moreover, you can set instant predictions, the number of results shown per page, and your language and location to get more personalized results and recommendations.
Beginner Google Tricks to Make Better Searches
Search by Keywords
Searching is all about keywords – the better keywords you give to the search engine, the better results you receive back. Brainstorm what you’re really looking for and type in the keywords as such. For example: “Google tips tricks” is better than “what are the tips and tricks for Google?” because it allows Google to search for the right words without including the other avoidable words.
Search a Specific Phrase
“” (double quotes) can be used to search for a specific phrase. Google lists only the results having the given phrase (between the double quotes) with same order of words as listed in the phrase. For example: ““I’m good”” (note the inner double quotes is part of the search query) will ask Google to search only for the phrase ‘I’m good’ exactly as is, and not even list results having the phrase ‘I am good’.
Search by Location
City name or Postal code at the end of your search query allows you to make searches for a specific location. This overrules the default behavior of Google to provide results for the location calculated using your Internet connection’s IP address. For example: “food joints in New Delhi” or “food joints 110033” shows you food joints in New Delhi.
Use Search Operators to Make Powerful Queries
OR is used to give either-or words in the search query. Google lists results having any of those words. For example: “buy cheap Android OR iPhone” is short for searching two queries “buy cheap Android” OR “buy cheap iPhone” and gives results for both queries.
AND is used to list must-have words in the search query. Google lists results having all of those words. For example: “rent cheap AND decorated house” will output results that contain both ‘cheap’ and ‘decorated’ words.
* (asterisk) is used to tell to search for unknown words. Google lists results having any word or group of words at the place of asterisk in the search query. For example: “Winston * Churchill” returns results for Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, a former British Prime Minister.
– (minus) is used to prohibit words in the search query. Google lists results that don’t have those words. For example: “buy windows laptop -dell” will output results that don’t contain ‘dell’ laptops.
AROUND is used to do a proximity search and tell that the given words should be near to each other in the content. Google lists only the results which have both the words, and that both the words are near with the maximum given proximity. For example: “India AROUND(10) Modi” shows results that have the terms ‘India’ and ‘Modi’ at the distance of maximum 10 words.
Search between 2 Numbers
.. (two periods) lets you search between two numbers in Google. It’s helpful if you’re looking for things in a range, like product prices in your budget range, prime numbers in a range, etc. For example: “buy Sony camera 10000..50000 INR” will show the pages that sell Sony cameras in between the price range of 10000 to 50000 INR.
Advance Google Tips & Tricks for Making Superior Searches
Search within a Specific Website
site: lets you search within a given website and not the whole Internet. It’s quite handy if you know the place (website) for your search and saves you from going through undesirable results. For example: “site:beebom.com android m” will list results for the search term ‘android m’, but the search will list results only from the mentioned website (beebom.com) and not from the other sites.
Find Specific Files
filetype: lets you search for specific files on the web rather than content or websites. It comes handy when you’re searching for presentations or PDFs or drawings or other files whose extension is known. For example: “filetype:pptx greenhouse effect” will search for presentations on the given topic of Greenhouse Effect.
Search for Terms in page’s Titles
intitle: and allintitle: allows you to search for terms in the page’s titles. Google is not restricted to search only the content but can also search the titles of the pages. Titles usually describe the purpose of the content and a search in titles offers you refined list of results whose contents are more close to what you’re looking for. For example: “intitle:india” shows only the results having ‘India’ in their titles; and “allinurl:india drought crisis” shows only the results having ‘India’, ‘drought’ and ‘crisis’ in their titles.
Search for Terms in page’s URLs
inurl: and allinurl: lets you search for terms in the URLs of web pages. Google searches for terms in URLs along with keywords in the content to provide you better results. The same trick you can use to filter out search results and get the most useful results quickly. For example: “inurl:google” shows only the results having ‘Google’ in their URLs; and “allinurl:google android app” shows only the results having ‘Google’, ‘Android’ and ‘App’ in their URLs.
Know What Links to What
link: can easily tell who links to your website or any other web page you want to know about. For example: “link:google.com” tells which web pages are linking to Google.com.
Find Similar Websites
related: tells which are similar websites to the given websites. It’s better to know similar sites if you’re doing a research on some product or website. For example: “related:beebom.com” lists some of our rival websites and blogs.
Search the Web by specific Country, Time or Location
Search tools (below the search bar) brings you filtering options to filter the search results based on various criteria like country, time or location. This helps you make better researches, and easily search news or local content of your location or country.
Make advance Recent Searches
Google’s Search tools allows you to set a custom time range for search results. Using this feature, you can set a minimum duration of one hour. What to do if you want to check out search results from last half an hour? Here’s another Google trick inside a trick.
This trick involves playing with the address in the browser’s location bar to set a custom time that’s not available as an option in the Search tools. After the results page is loaded, edit the address and add “&tbs=qdr:XN” in the location bar and press Enter button; where ‘X’ can be y (years), m (months), d (days), h (hours), n (minutes) or s (seconds) and ‘N’ is the number. For example, adding “&tbs=qdr:n30” to the address shows the results for last 30 minutes.
Search Images by specific Size, Color, Type, Time or Copyright
Google offers you choice/filter to select what you’re really looking for if the search terms gets more than one type of information. For example, searching images for “Charles” brings you Charles Manson, the book Charles by Shirley Jackson, etc. and you can select any of the category to refine your search.
Search tools (below the search bar) brings you more refinement options like size, color, type, time and usage rights. You can filter the images for small or large sizes, grayscale or any or full colors, face or photo or clipart types, appeared at what time and is it free to use in your next big project.
Make Advanced Search
Google’s Advanced Search allows you to make the most of this search engine through a single page. It combines many of its search tricks, special features and search tools under one hood. You can search using various operators, terms, file types, usage rights, language and region, switch on safe search, and do much more using its advanced search feature. You can access the advanced search by clicking Settings > Advanced search at bottom-right of Google’s homepage or directly by navigating to “https://www.google.com/advanced_search”.
Google Tips for English Learners and Enthusiasts
Google can even check spellings for you. If you’re not sure how to spell any word, then simply type it in the Google’s search box and Google will tell its correct spelling along with other information.
Get Definitions, Synonyms, Antonyms and Pronunciations
define: lets you ask definitions, get synonyms and antonyms and listen to pronunciations of words. You can click on the small Speaker icon present at right of the word to listen to its pronunciation. For example: “define:obligatory” gives you definition, synonyms and pronunciation; and “define:obligatory antonyms” lists its antonyms as well as other information.
Find Origins of Words
etymology: lets you find the origins of words using Google. It’s get handy if you’re learning new words or doing some kind of research on words and their origins. For example: “etymology:simple” gets you the origins of the word ‘simple’.
anagram trigger word lets you search for anagrams. Anagrams are words that are made using rearranging the given word. Just include this trigger word in your search queries and Google will provide you with anagrams. Example: “define:anagram” tells the definition of anagram and also asks if you mean to search for ‘nag a ram’, which is the anagram for the word ‘anagram’.
Google Tips & Tricks for Working with Numbers
Convert Numbers to Words
Google can also convert numbers to words. It’s really useful when you have various large numbers that you require in words form. For example: “1064305 in English” or “1064305 = English” prints ‘one million sixty-four thousand three hundred five’ on the screen.
calculator opens up a calculator on the Google page where in you can type expressions to get results. You can also type the expressions directly in the search box to get answers right away. For example: “calculator” opens up a calculator; “4*5+2-3/3”gives 21 as the result of the given expression; and “21% of 50% of 30% of 1000” gives 31.5 as the final result of the expression.
Convert Units, Time zones and Currencies
convert to lets you convert units, time zones and currencies from one to another. Currency rates are mostly up-to-date but should not be used as an alternative to market rates. For example: “convert 5:30 AM GMT to IST” or “convert 5:30 AM GMT to New Delhi” gives 11:00 AM as the result; “convert 1m to cm” or “1m in cm” gives 100 centimeter as the answer; and “convert 1$ to pound” or “convert 1 USD to GBP” or “1 USD in pound” answers 0.64 British Pound.
tip calculator opens a small tip calculator quite similar in design to Google’s calculator. It lets you calculate tips by entering bill info. “tip for” lets you ask Google directly. For example: “tip calculator” opens the tip calculator for you; and “tip for $500” answers $75 as the tip for the bill of $500.
Get Real time Info, Quickly and Conveniently
Get Local Times
time lets you see the latest real-time local time of any place in the world. For example: “time London” lets you know the current local time of London; and “time 10001” tells the time for New York.
Get live Weather Information
weather lets you get the real time weather information for any place in the world. For example: “weather New York” will fetch you weather updates for the New York City.
Get Movies Show times
Google can charge your entertainment potential by letting you quickly find movie show times for cinemas near to you. movies trigger word along with city name or postal code list the movies playing near to the given location. You can click on any movie from the list to get its show times for possible theatres. For example: “movies New Delhi” lists the now-playing movies in New Delhi; and “movies 10001” lists the movies playing in New York.
Get Sports Info
Google can fuel your hunger for sports information – let it be current and happening or something from years back. It’s also easier to get info using Google than using any other traditional or digital methods. For example, “icc world cup 2015” lists the info about ICC Cricket World Cup 2015; and “fifa world cup 2014 winner” tells the champion of FIFA World Cup 2014.
Get Directions and Ask for Navigation
Google can also guide you for making travels. Just search for a query beginning with “direction” or “navigate” along with start and end locations, and it will show a mini-map with the directions. For example: “direction from chandni chowk to anand vihar New Delhi” shows the directions along with commute options in a small embedded map on the results page; and “navigate from anand vihar terminal to New Delhi railway station” gives the navigational steps and directions.
Get Sunrise and Sunset times
sunrise & sunset gets you the sunrise and sunset times for today. You can easily know when the sun is coming up and going down on this day. For example: “sunrise & sunset New Delhi” gets you sunrise and sunset times for New Delhi; “sunrise New Delhi” lets you view only the sunrise time for New Delhi; and “sunset New Delhi” lets you view merely the sunset time for New Delhi.
Get Stock Quotes
stock lets you view the latest real-time stock prices. You can also simply write the stock name to get its price, for example, “GOOG” to get Google’s stock price. The stock prices are mostly up-to-date but shouldn’t be used as an alternative to the market rates. For example: “stock GOOG” or “GOOG” provides the current market rate for Google’s stock.
Track Courier packages
Google can help you track your packages by typing the tracking number directly in the search box. It is currently supported only for UPS, FedEx and USPS packages; and shows you the status of your shipment using a rich-text snippet. For example: search query containing tracking number “1Z9999W9999999999” will fetch you the status of your package.
Get Flight status and Search Flights easily
flight lets you get the latest real time flight status about any flights given by flight code or number. flight to can be used to get list of flights from one place to another along with their prices. For example: “flight BA1491” gives the real time flight status about British Airways Flight 1491; and “flight New York to Paris” lets you view the flights for travel from New York to Paris.
Google Tips & Tricks to get Information, Efficiently
Know your IP Address
ip address typed in the search bar shows your current IP address as acquired by Google. For example: “ip address” lists 18.104.22.168 as my computer’s IP address.
Get Movies Info
Google can present the data in various digestible ways, and its best method is its Knowledge Graph that can tell information about many things including movies. For example: “titanic casts” shows the casts info of Titanic; “titanic budget” shows its budget information; “titanic characters” shows its characters and their actual names; and “titanic director” gets you name of its director, etc.
Get Tourist Spots
Google can list the tourist attractions for any place in the world if you start your search starting with the trigger word “attractions“, and then provide name of the city or the postal code of the location. For example: “attractions New Delhi” or “attractions in New Delhi” list the places of attraction in New Delhi; and “attractions 10001” lists the tourist places in New York.
Find Songs by Singer or Movie
Google can help you find songs by your favorite singer or movie very easily and conveniently. It lists all the songs in a list and you can click any song to get its YouTube links and additional information. For example: “songs by Britney” brings you all the songs sung by Britney Spears; and “avatar songs” lists all the songs from the Avatar movie.
Get Info about Celebrities and Personalities
Google can list various public information about numerous celebrities and personalities. You’re just a search away from learning something new about your favorite celebrity. For example, “Mahatma Gandhi height” lists the height of our Father of the Nation; “bacon number Amitabh Bachchan” shows the bacon number for Amitabh Bachchan; and “Emma Watson age” tells the age of the pretty actor of Harry Potter movie series.
Get Nutritional Information
Google is smart enough to show nutritional info for food related searches such as mango, chocolate candy, etc. The given info includes calories, vitamins, fats, etc. For example: search queries “banana” or “chocolate cake” produces its nutritional information.
Make Food Comparisons
Google can even compare foods for you. If you’re not sure which food will get you better nutrients or which will not increase your body fat, then you can ask Google and it will answer much like any dietician. For example: “mango vs. banana” tells Google to compare and present the nutritional info of the given two fruits – Mango and Banana.
Get dates of Holidays
Google is more than clever at answering your questions and getting the most in-context answers for you. You can ask Google about holiday’s dates, and it will tell the date when you can plan the next party with your friends. For example: “friendship day date” or “when is friendship day” gets you the dates of Friendship day as per your location or country.
Get Recent Earthquakes
earthquake shows you information about recent earthquakes that happened in the world. This is the result of Google attempt to not only collect information but also present or avail in most usable ways for the entire humanity. For example: “earthquake” gives you info about recent earthquakes.
Know what Others are Searching for
Google Trends shows you what others are searching for in any country of the world. It’s a superb tool for journalists and bloggers to get new ideas as well as look for the search trends. You can also filter the trends by choosing a category or click a trend to see more information about it such as relevant articles, interest over time, interest by region, trending queries, etc.
Search Newspaper Archives of more than 100 years
Google offers you the access to the digitized news content of over last several years. It scanned and digitized the old printed newspapers in an attempt to bring the content from old newspapers easily accessible to the Internet users. For example: “site:google.com/newspapers berlin wall” will search for an article from scanned newspapers on the topic ‘berlin wall’.
Google Special Tips & Tricks to Solve Problems
timer command lets you set a timer using Google. It’s simple enough for anyone and useful enough for various situations, such as when you want to take a mock exam, write an essay in predefined time, or divide your time for various tasks, etc. For example: “timer” or “set timer” brings an online timer, wherein you can set time and start it off.
Browse Offline Websites
cache: can be used to browse websites that aren’t online for a while due to server problems. Google keep cached copies of the web pages browsed by its crawler, and that’s why you can browse them even if their server is down as the cached pages are loaded from Google. For example: “cache:beebom.com” lets you browse Beebom.com even if it’s offline.
Translate from One Language to Another
translate trigger command can easily translate text for you using Google Translate. Though you can use it yourself, but asking Google to do the translations is swifter and proves handy when you’re in a hurry. For example: “translate welcome English Hindi” or “translate welcome English to Hindi” translates the word ‘Welcome’ to ‘स्वागत’.
Browse Blocked Websites
cache: can be used to browse websites that are blocked by your college, corporation or government. The trick being Google’s domains are never blocked, and cache: fetches the cached copies of the web pages from the Google servers rather than the original site’s servers. For example: “cache:aksingh.net” lets you browse AKSingh.net even if it’s blocked for you.
Bypass Firewall using Google Proxy
Google services are designed to help you in your everyday life, but they can be exploited to do many more things than they were actually built for. For example, you can unblock websites and bypass firewall restrictions using the never developed Google Proxy. Actually, Google don’t provide any such service but a trick can be used to make Google Translate and Google Mobilizer do this job. For example: “http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=ja&tl=en&u=http://beebom.com/” opens up Beebom.com even if it’s blocked; and “http://www.google.ie/gwt/x?u=http://www.aksingh.net” allows you to view AKSingh.net even if it comes under your firewall’s block rule.
Read Pay-walled or Paid Articles for Free
cache: allows you to read cached web pages from Google’s cache archive. You can simply read the pay-walled or paid articles from the Google’s cache in place of original website and thus, read it for free. Moreover, you can also try to copy the article’s URL and paste in the search bar, and open that same article from the search results – many times this trick works to bypass pay-walls.
Google Tips & Tricks that Requires Signing in with Google Account
Personalize your Search Settings
Google can get you personalized results tailored to your likes and personality based on your past searches. It offers you more relevant search results and recommendations based on the search activity stored in your Google account. Just login to your account and Google handles everything else to offer you the best personalized search experience. Your search settings are also stored in your account to use on any browser at any computer when you login to your account for making searches.
Search your Contacts
Google can even dive into your contacts and get the info about one of your contact. You can search your contacts’ information such as phone number or email, and even call them right from Google Search. This feature only works on mobile devices and it’s very easy to follow. For example: “what’s dhruv gupta’s number” show the phone number for your contact; “what’s sierra’s email id” tells the email id of your contact and simply typing “call sierra” will trigger a call to your contact.
Search your Photos
Google can search your photos collection and provide the right photo you’re looking for. You can easily find the photos from your college party or Christmas holidays using this feature. Just start the search using “show my photos from” or “my photos from” and it list the searched photos. For example: “my photos from 6 July 2014” lists the photos taken on 6 July 2014 from your photos collection.
Check Calendar Events and Meetings
Google can look into your calendar and find the upcoming events and meetings for you. Just ask a query starting with “what is my plan for” or “my plan for” and it will list the events and meetings for the mentioned date and time. For example: “my plan for today” lists the events and meetings set for today’s date in my calendar.
You can ask Google to set a reminder for you right on your desktop and it will direct Google Now to remind you for the said task at the mentioned date and time. It only works if you’re a Google Now user. For example: “set reminder for meeting in Delhi at 4pm tomorrow” will set a reminder for given settings, and you will get a reminder notification in your Android or iOS device.
SEE ALSO: 35 Best Google Chrome Extensions
If you come across any new Google search trick, feel free to let us know in comments section.