Google Search Shortcuts
From finding an area code to converting temperatures, we describe quick and easy shortcuts to improve your Google searches.
While Google produces fast search results, there are many quick and easy shortcuts that will help improve your Google searches, depending on what you are looking for, of course. We look at 15 different types of Google searches that use special operators and punctuation to get more specific search results, quickly.
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
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 any 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 are looking for a definition of a word, you can see all dictionary and other popular Web definitions by typing the word define in front of the search term.
- Example Search: define ERP
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. This restricts search results to show only the requested file type in results.
- Example Search: virtualization filetype:pdf
Local Business 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
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
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
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
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 default "Web" results. This would bring up the Products view for the domain.
- Example Search: site:webopedia.com "CPU"
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)
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)
Did you Know…???
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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