Search is Google’s main business and they take it seriously. Features are constantly released that enable it to better display the information that is most relevant to you so you don’t need to scroll through multiple pages of results to find what you need.
If you can’t remember song lyrics that are on the tip of your tongue or need to review your spending habits from last month, you can do it with Google Search. Check out a few of our favorite little known search tricks that can take your searches to the next level.
1. Weigh your options with Google comparisons.
Deciding between two similar items for your next purchase? Easily compare them by putting vs between two search terms. For instance, “f16 vs f/a-18”.
2. goo·gle: ˈɡo͞oɡ(ə)l/, verb, search for information about (someone or something) on the Internet using the search engine Google.
Google can serve as an online dictionary. Just type DEFINE: before the word you need defined. For example, “DEFINE: computer” will give you the definition of the word “computer.”
3. Get exactly what you are looking for.
If your searches turn up results that are too general, try using quotation marks to limit your search to an exact term.
4. Never miss a flight.
Searching my flights will bring up your itinerary for any upcoming trips.
5. I bought what?!
You can track your spending habits by searching my purchases, which will bring up a list of items you have recently purchased. You can also sort this by month by searching “My purchases in December”.
6. This but not that.
The subtraction symbol can be used to exclude certain words from your results. If you want info on Titanic the ship, but not the motion picture of the same name, you should search “Titanic -movie”.
7. Find what you can’t remember.
Can’t remember all the words? No problem! Just substitute asterisks for the words you don’t know, Google will find terms that match the phrase using the asterisks as variables. This is helpful when searching for those song lyrics you only kind of remember.
8. Google, pass the popcorn.
Google keeps a database of every movie and its cast. A search for “movies with Leonardo DiCaprio,” will display all the movies in his acting career.
9. Make it there before they close.
Working late? Google can quickly return the hours of operation for any business with the “hours of operation ___” search term. For example, “hours of operation CVS” returns a map to the nearest CVS, along with their opening and closing times.
10. Predict Mother Nature.
Don’t get stranded without an umbrella! You can get the weather forecast for your area simply by searching weather in the search bar.
11. Just give me the news.
Looking for news stories related to a certain term? By typing news: before your search term you can filter your results to only show news results.
12. Break down language barriers.
Übersetzen ist einfach. Google has a built in translator that is activated by typing translate: before a foreign word or term.
At the time of writing this, Google supports 90 languages.
Bonus: Heads or Tails?
Ask Google to “Flip a coin” and watch as a virtual coin appears in your search results and gets flipped!