Google. That beautiful, mostly blank page we use to ask any question that happens to pop into our heads. We all know it. Many of us use it. But do you know how to use it efficiently? GUO is proud to present a short series of tips to help you get the best results with the least number of clicks.
Sadly, many of these options are not available on the mobile version of Google. However, switching to “Classic” mode in the bottom right will display some of them (links to cached pages, sidebar search tools).
1) Separate Your Social from the Web
See those two icons in the top right? Google believed that they could better serve their users by integrating their search history and social networking (Google Plus, Gmail contact) data into search results to create a personal ‘flavor’. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Knowing you have the ability to toggle between the two should help you determine how useful it is for yourself. Click the person for a social flavored search or the globe for a true-blue Google search. You can also sign out of Google altogether by clicking on your avatar in the top right.
2) Filter Search Results by Age
If you look to the left of the tour, you’ll see Google’s sidebar. While there are a number of obvious useful options, such as showing videos or images, the real nugget of the sidebar is hidden under the “Show search tools” option. Clicking on this will roll out a whole ‘nother layer of filtering allowing you to tailor results that have only been posted within the past year to the past hour. This option appears under the wrench icon in the top right for mobile users.
Pro tip: If you find the need to use the “Past hour” option, you should probably be searching Twitter instead. A fine example would be “Is <my favorite site> down?” Twitter topic, not Google.
3) Use Quotes for a “Specific Phrase”
If what you’re looking for contains multiple words in a specific order put quotes around the entire phrase. While Google is pretty good about figuring these sorts of things today, it’s not always perfect. When you need it, it’s priceless.
4) Website Gone? Check the Cache
Google actually keeps a copy of every page it indexes. If the website you’re trying to view is down/overloaded/seized by the MPAA, you can look at the copy of it Google stored. Whenever you mouse over an entry in a Google search, look for the “>>” to open the preview pane. You’ll see the link to Google’s copy (the cached version) at the top of the pane.
5) Use Google to Search Inside a Specific Site
Let’s say you want to check out all the great Hello Kitty coverage here on GUO, but never realized we have a search widget in the sidebar (Hi, Mom!). You can use Google to search inside a particular website using “site:” operator like this “site:growingupotaku.com hello kitty”
…And Other Stupid Google Tricks
Want to know the time somewhere? Type in “Time in <city name>”. ex “Time in Tokyo”
Google does math! Just type your equation into the search bar.
Currency conversion? No problem. Just type away. ex. “40000 JPY in USD” or 20 USD to GBP” The use of “in” or “to” is optional, as is the capitalization.
Temperature conversions work, too. “72F in C”
What about measurements? Duh. “30 yd in mm”
You can get a quick stock ticker just by typing in the stock name. Ex. GOOG or JBL
For more tips and trick, check out Google’s help section for web search. Got a favorite of your own? Add it in the comments.