We all use Google but not everybody knows its hidden secrets – the tricks and short cuts that can help you find things faster and make your searches more specific. So here are 10 of our favourite Google tips to get you started. If you want more, you could always Google them!
Use search operators
Google does a pretty good job of working out what you’re looking for, but the more specific you are the better your results will be. Using operators does just that, so for example enclosing a phrase in quotation marks – “like this” – searches for that specific phrase, adding a minus sign excludes that word (salsa recipe -tomatoes) and using OR gives Google a choice, e.g. World Cup location 2014 or 2022.
Search a single site
You can restrict your search to a single website by using the site: operator, so for example if you are searching for childrens toys at Argos, you might type childrens toys site:argos.co.uk
Sums and currency conversions
You probably already know that Google will carry out sums if you type them in the search box –4*15 gives you 60, 2*2*3*4 gives you 48 and an on-screen calculator and so on – but it can also convert units and currencies. Convert 200 usd to gbp converts dollars to pounds, and you can also convert measurements such as distance, weight and temperature.
Get essential information fast
Type weather and you’ll see the current conditions and a seven-day forecast; add the name of a town to get the weather report from a different location. Type flight BA1491 to see the status of a flight, time New York to see the local time in that location, sunrise London to see when the sun’s coming up or GOOG to see Google’s stock information.
Search by location
If you type a generic term such as “Mexican restaurant”, Google will show you results in and around your current location along with a map showing where they are. If you’d rather be more specific, enter the postcode at the end of your query – so for example fish and chips BA1 2BW shows the chippies in and around central Bath.