How to use Google Search More Effectively - Part II

Google provides a wide range of tools that help us with our search.
by Updated March 8, 2013

In my previous article 'How to Search Google Effectively', I introduced the basic Google search methods and described how we can structure our searches by using special characters and operators. But Google provides a wider range of tools that help us with our search. Below you will find further methods that support effective search and other useful tools Google provides.

1. You can use Google as a phone book.

If someone calls you on your mobile and you don’t know to whom the displayed phone number belongs to, you can easily look it up using Google's phone book feature. Let's say the number is 914-499-1900. You need to type phonebook:914-499-1900 into the search field and will get the result at once. (This is the phone number of the IBM headquarters)

2. You can use Google as a calculator.

You do not have to launch any calculator application if you have Google in the nearby. Just type the expression into the search field using the +, -, * and / symbols to specify arithmetic operations and it will calculate the answer. Example: 43 + 9.

Google will bring up a calculator that you can use for further equations. For more complicated expressions, you can use brackets like (43+9)/2

3. Going further, you can use Google for unit conversions.

Its calculator can also convert between units. Type: X units in units. Example: 3 inches in centimeters. You can see under the search box that 3 inches make 7.62 centimeters. You can convert miles to kilometers, teaspoons to tablespoons, ounces to grams, etc.

4. You can use Google to check spelling of a word.

Using this function is fairly easy. You do not need to remember any operand. Just type the word into the search field, and if spelling is erroneous, Google will suggest you searching for the word with the right spelling. Then you will know at once, how to spell your word.

Let's try it with erroneous. I think it is spelled erroneus and type this word in. I can see below the search box that the right spelling is erroneous.

5. A quick method to find out the weather in any location.

If you type: [weather Paris, TX] you will see the actual weather directly under the search box. If you are interested in the weather in Paris, France, just type [weather Paris, France] and the result appears immediately. You can also see the actual time at the given location.

6. Searching for specific file types.

If you are looking for specific file types, you can enter it into the search field. In this case you won't have to sort out the results yourself. The necessary operator is filetype:

For example, if you want to see PowerPoint presentations on a certain topic, you can search for PPT files. The filetype:ppt ancient Greece will display only PowerPoint presentations about this topic.

7. Use the advanced operator: AROUND() to refine your search.

In my previous guide, I suggested using thequotationmarks to search for a certain phrase. That query lists only the web pages containing that exact phrase and significantly narrows down the number of search results. But, we cannot define an exact phrase in many cases. Let's suppose we are looking for a hotel room in Paris. If we just search for hotel Paris, Google searches for these two words everywhere in the text of the page. We know that with this search we may end up with pages mentioning anything in Paris and a hotel anywhere.

If we use the quotation mark and enter “hotel Paris”, Google searches exactly for this term and will not display web pages containing text like “hotel in the beautiful city of Paris” or “Paris hotel”. We will be restricted to that ordering of the words.

This problem is solved with the AROUND() operator. Here you need to enter a number within the brackets, that specifies the proximity of the words. If you search for things like hotel AROUND(2) Paris, both words will be near each other. A lower number means the two words need to be closer and a higher number means they can be farther apart in the text of the page.

The query hotel AROUND(2) Paris displays 139 Millions of pages, while "hotel Paris" brings 12.4 Millions. Certainly the 12.4 Millions of pages are enough to find a suitable hotel room in Paris, but if you are looking for a more specific term, the AROUND() operator will be useful.

8. Search with the wildcard symbol

The asterisk (*), as a wildcard can substitute any word or letter in a search phrase. You can specify with it, what you are exactly lookin for.

For example, if you want to see how file management is done in any android 2. system, you enter file management android 2.* and the search results will include pages dealing with both android 2.0, android 2.2, etc.

 

 


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