Google Search Tips and Tricks

by Bill Raecke

An incomplete list:

  1. To search for an exact phrase, enclose the phrase in quotes. A search for “Amiga games” will show only results where those two words occur in sequence: exactly and shown.
  2. To exclude terms, use a minus sign. A search for “Amiga games” -Pacman will find the same results as before, but will eliminate any matches where the word Pacman shows up.
  3. Search for a term within a website like this: kelly will pull up any mention of our illustrious leader that appears on our website.
  4. You can use an asterisk to serve as a wildcard. Search “The most powerful *” to find the most powerful anything.
  5. You can set a range for your search. US Presidents 1920..1990 will show presidents between those years. (That’s the first value, followed by two periods, followed by the second value.)
  6. You can also use a single value: US President ..2010 will return Barack Obama.
  7. Ranges can also be used for price matching. For example, if you wanted to find a camera that costs between $400 and $600, the search term camera $400..$600 would return only those within that price range.
  8. You can quickly find the definition of any word or acronym. define html will quickly return the definition.
  9. Automated coin toss? No problem. Enter flip a coin into the search bar.
  10. Try do a barrel roll just for fun.
  11. Or try askew.
  12. Use Google for simple math conversions. 5 miles to km will quickly return the value of 8.04672. 1 quart to liters will return: 0.946353.
  13. Use the word nearby to find businesses close to where you are. Restaurants nearby will show…wait for it…restaurants nearby.
  14. Want to know what your public IP address is? Just type IP address in the search bar. (You’ll probably see an IP6 address that is quite different than your local address.)
  15. Want to know the weather? Just type weather followed by your zip code: weather 75104.
  16. You can search for specific filetypes. Amiga filetype:pdf will return pdf files referencing Amiga. Searching for: filetype:pdf will return all the pdf files on our club website.
  17. You can track packages by entering your tracking number directly into the Google search bar. This works for UPS, USPS and FedEx.
  18. Need a quick translation? Type translate word to french (where word is any word and french is any language). The actual response to my example is mot.
  19. You can check sunrise or sunset times for any location. Just enter sunrise 75104 or sunset 75104 where 75104 is the zip code. Addresses or city names work as well.
  20. Need to check flight status? No need to go to the airline website. Just enter the airline and flight number into Google search and the status will be returned. For example, aa 1445 will return the flight status for American Airlines flight 1445.
  21. Need to know the time somewhere in the world? Time London will show the current time in London, England.