Google is one of the tools that we use without a second thought. When it comes to technology like this, we may not even recognize its full potential to make our life easier. But every now and again we come across a lifehack that completely changes the way we do something and we wonder about why we haven’t learnt about it earlier. In this article you will learn about 15+ shortcuts to help you google like a pro.
Search for an Exact Match
If you need to find an exact phrase, put it inside quotation marks to find an exact match. For example, “longest river in the world” will give you links to websites containing exactly that phrase without showing you results that match the query partially.
Exclude Specific Words from Your Search
Let’s say you are curious about the speed a jaguar can reach in wildlife. You type in jaguar speed and what you get is the speed of the car. How do you refine your search to get rid of all the links related to the car and leave the ones about the animal? Put a hyphen in front of the word you don’t want to pop up in the Google search. In this example, it’ll be a Jaguar speed -car.
Search for a Range of Numbers
If you’re searching for a price range, put two dots between the maximum and minimum prices. For example, a laptop $1000..$1100 will give you links to all offers within the range. Alternatively, if you only want a specific price, put two dots in front of the exact price: Phone ..$299.
Combine 2+ Searches in One
This lifehack is a useful way to google multiple statements in one tab. If you are looking for something, let’s say a medical conference, in three particular countries put OR between each country name: Medical conference Latvia OR Singapore OR Italy. To make the results even more relevant, use the next lifehack.
Search for Relevant and Up-to-date Information
For that, use the Tools tab underneath the search bar to look for articles posted within a certain period of time. Additionally, go into the Settings tab to choose such criteria as language, region of sources of information, file format, etc.
Search for a Specific Website
Most websites have a search bar that allows you to look for specific information on that particular site. But what if I told you don’t even need to open that website to do that? Simply add “site:” in front of a website or domain and then write your request. For example, internships site:youth-time.eu
Make Your Search More Specific
Rule out unwanted types of links by using specific tabs – “All, Images, Maps, Videos, News, Shopping, Books, Flights, and Finance”. By googling specific information in its respective place you will eliminate having to go through the website that uses that combination of words in their description but don’t actually have the answers you need.
Search for Lyrics You DON’T Remember
Have you ever tried searching for a song you couldn’t remember lyrics to or is it just me? If you roughly remember a line with an except of a few words, put an asterisk instead of each of those words. For example, if you put Don’t * me *, I’m having * * * time, Google search will tell you that it’s Don’t stop me now, I’m having such a good time by Queen. Cool, right?
Search for Similar Sites
If you need to search for websites that provide more or less the same service or information, put “related:” in front of a website to find similar ones. You could use this hack to find news websites, online shops, academic paper resources, etc. Here is an example:
Use Google Search to Do Maths for You
Sometimes you may be talking to someone on the phone and you need to do a quick calculation. Instead of frantically searching for the calculator on the laptop, simply put the problem into the search bar. Use * for multiplication, + for addition, – for subtraction, and ^ for raising a number to the power of x. And yes, you can use parentheses.
Search for the Weather and Time at a Specific Location
Simply put Weather/Time ZIP CODE in the search bar and et voila! This hack works perfectly for smaller towns. However, if a city has multiple zip codes, you way want to use the first part of it. For example, if you life in Coventry, England and your zip code is CV1 4FU, only type in the CV1 part.
How to Google Definitions
If you are a bilingual, you probably know this hack as it allows you to quickly find all definitions and translations of a specific word. Simply type in Define WORD or WORD meaning and select the language and Google will give you elaborate definitions with simple examples and context.
Search for File Formats
If you’re looking for a specific document rather than a website article, put filetype:FORMAT at the end of the search and all the results in the list will contain links to documents of that format. This works with any documents but the most common formats are pdf, pptx and docx. Here is an example:
Quick Money and Unit Conversion
To convert currencies or units of measurement, type in “X to Y” and Google will display a conversion table where you can change the data. Types of measurement include area, digital storage, energy, frequency, fuel economy, length, mass, plane angle, pressure, speed, temperature, time, and volume.
Search for Similar Photos
If you come across a photo that you want to find out more details about, right-click it and choose “Search Google for image”. The results will give you information on what’s on the photo as well as provide similar pictures.
Alternatively, go to Google Images, and click on the camera icon – you can either enter an image URL or upload it from your computer.
Search for Sports Teams
Simply type in the name of your team to find out about their schedule game scores. Additionally, Google will provide a short description of the team, recent news, and a list of team players.
Find a Title Match
If you are looking for titles that are phrased in a certain way, type in allintitle: in front of your query. For example, to find all articles that have Ways to prepare for an interview in their titles, type in allintitle: Ways to prepare for an interview and all the results will include this exact quote.
It may seem a bit overwhelming to discover these lifehacks, especially since we probably use a small fraction of them on a daily basis. Some of them will be a great addition to your work and study routine while others can always be looked up in case needed. Here you can find additional keyboard shortcuts for Google Chrome.
This article is part of the Digital Skills series where we cover lifehacks you can apply when using everyday apps and websites.
Photos: Shutterstock / Photomontages: Martina Advaney
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