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Google Search Tips and Shortcuts

There several quick and easy shortcuts that will help improve your Google searches.

Google Web search is so popular is that is offers fast and powerful searches, plus it has a simple Web page that is quick to load and easy to use. While Google produces fast search results, there several quick and easy shortcuts that will help improve your Google searches.

Area Code

You can search for the geographical location to any U.S. and many other country codes by typing the 3-digit area code into the search box.
Example Search: 876

Book Search

To search for book text, simply use the word "book" in front of your search phrase. This will remove non-book related search results.
Example Search: book The Lord of the Rings


Google has a built-in calculator function. To use it, simply type the equation in the search box.
Example Search: 5*4+6/2


Google can also convert between many units of measurement of height, weight, and volume. To use unit conversion type in your conversion, using unites like cm in inches, CAD in USD to see foreign exchange rates, or even C ion F for temperature conversion.
Example Search: 15 cm in inches (or) 25 CAD in USD  (or) 12 C in F


If you'ee looking for a definition of a word, you can see all dictionary results by typing the word define in front of the search term. The first search result is "Web Definitions". Clicking on this link will show all definitions of the word you searched for on the Web.
Example Search: define technology

File Type restriction

If you're looking for a specific file type — for example a PDF file — you can use "filetype:" after the search term and the file abbreviation.
Example Search: virtualization filetype:pdf

Local Search

Google makes it easy to search for local businesses. To use the local search you simply enter a search phrase (such as restaurant) followed by the zip or postal code. The first search result will show the location on a small Google Map and provide links for all businesses found in that location that match your search.
Example Search: restaurants 06790

Package Tracking

You can track a UPS, Fedex or USPS package from Google. Simply enter in your package shipment number in the search box to get package and delivery information.
Example Search: 1Z9999W99999999999

Related Pages

You can use "related:" in front of a Web URL to see a list of pages that Google sees as having content related to the URL you are searching.
Example Search: related:www.webopedia.com

Safe Search

To search Google and exclude adult content, you simply type "safesearch:" before your search phrase.
Example Search: safesearch:breast feeding

Site Info

To find out more information about a specific Web site, you can use "info:" followed by the domain name.
Example Search: info:www.webopedia.com

Site Search

To see results only from one Web site, you can use "site:"[URL] "phrase". If we wanted to find all information in Webopedia related to "CPU" we would use site:webopedia.com "CPU". The Google search results will only show matching results found via www.webopedia.com in this search. For e-commerce sites, you can select "Shopping" instead the the default "Web" results. This would bring up the Products view for the domain.
Example Search: site:webopedia.com "CPU"

Stock Quotes

Simply type a company's ticker symbol into the Google search box to see current market data. To see current market results for Microsoft, for example type MSFT into the search box. The first search result shows current stock prices, open, high, and low figures plus links to see see data for that company via Google Finance, Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, AOL Finance, CNN Money, and Reuters‎.
Example Search: MSFT (or any ticker symbol)

Synonym Search

If you want to include synonyms in your search results, you simply use the ~ character in front of your search phrase.
Example Search: ~healthy food


When trying to figure out time zones and what time it is in another part of the world, you simply need to type time followed by the name of the city in the search box. The first Google result will show the current local time of all cities with the name you entered. If you use Washington, for example, you will see the time for Washington D.C., and Washington, United Kingdom.
Example Search: time Washington (or any city name)


To look up your local weather forecast type the word "weather" followed by your city and state or province. The first search result will show current conditions plus show a brief 4-day outlook for the city you have entered.
Example Search: weather New York, NY (or any city and state/province)

Quick Tip

Google search results are returned faster if you hit the Enter key instead of clicking the Search button beside the search box!

Based in Nova Scotia, Vangie Beal is has been writing about technology for more than a decade. She is a frequent contributor to EcommerceGuide and managing editor at Webopedia. You can tweet her online @AuroraGG.

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