Twelve Easy Google Search Hacks

Key Word Search
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Internet Market Considers MIcrosoft Bid for Yahoo
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 If you're looking for an exact phrase, put it in quotes. 

"the ides of march" 

You can also combine this with many other search tricks, such as: 

"a wrinkle in time" OR "a wind in the door"

Using the OR command is also known as a Boolean search.  More »

Information from smart phone
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Use the Google shortcut info:your_url to find quick information about a website. Do not put a space between info: and the URL, but you can omit the http:// part of the address if you wish. For example:

info:www.google.com

Search the world's information, including webpages, images, videos and more. Google has many special features to help you find exactly what you're looking ...

Not all web pages will return results. More »

George Boole
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There are two basic Boolean search commands supported in Google, AND and OR. AND searches search for all the search terms "summer AND winter," (all documents containing both summer and winter) while OR searches search for one term or the other, "summer OR winter." (all documents containing either summer or winter)

AND

Google defaults to AND searches automatically, so you don't need to type "AND" into the search engine to get that result.

OR

If you want to find one keyword or another, use the term OR. It's important that you use all caps, or Google will ignore your request.

To find all documents containing either sausages or biscuits, type: summer OR winter.

You can also substitute the "pipe" character for OR:  summer | winter More »

Money mix of foreign currency notes
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Search for starting currency in desired currency. For example, to find out how much the Canadian dollar is worth in US dollars today, type in:

canadian dollar in us dollar

The calculator graphic appears at the top of the screen along with the answer in bold type. Currency conversion is part of Google's hidden calculator, which can convert all sorts of things to other things, including units of measure (gallons into liters, miles per gallon into kilometers per liters, etc.) More »

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Dictionary
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If you want to quickly find a word's definition, just use define:

define: loquacious 

This triggers one of Google's hidden search engines, which will find the definition by comparing several online dictionaries. You'll see the definition and a link to the original information source in case you want to search further.  More »

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Synonym Searches

Creativitiy as Found in the Dictionary
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Can't think of a word? Use Google to search for both your search terms and synonyms. A synonym is a word or phrase that means the same thing or close to the same thing. 

When you put a tilde ~ in front of your search term, Google will look for both your chosen search term and synonyms. 

~dancing
Mathematical Equation
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Sometimes you may want to narrow your search by finding things within a number range, such as fashion icons from the 1920s to the 1960s, cars that get 30-50 miles per gallon, or computers from $500-$800. Google lets you do just that with "Numrange" searches.

You can perform a Numrange search on any sequential set of numbers by typing two periods between the numbers without any spaces. For example, you could search with the key phrases: 

fashion icons 1920..1960
cars 30..50 mpg 
computer $500..$800 

Whenever possible, give Google some context for your numbers. Are they miles per gallon, stitches per minute, pounds, or cases? With the exception of dollar signs, you should put a space between your numbers and the keyword that gives those numbers context, just like the car search example.

You'll probably also be more successful if you use an industry standard abbreviation, such as "mpg" rather than spelling out "miles per gallon." When in doubt, you could search for both terms at once by using a Boolean OR search. That would make our car search: 

cars 30..50 mpg OR "miles per gallon."
More »
Multicolored shapes connecting men with targets on opposite ends of arrows pointing in different direction
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Google can let you restrict your searches to only certain file types. This can be very helpful if you're looking specifically for file types, such as PowerPoint, (ppt) Word, (doc) or Adobe PDF.

To restrict your search to a specific file type, use the filetype: command. For example, try searching for:

bad hotel filetype:ppt

 To search for that forgotten widget report, try:

widget report filetype:doc

If you are searching for videos, try using Google Video search instead.  More »

Twins sitting on sofa, smiling
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Use the minus sign to exclude words from your search. Combine it with quotes to make it even more powerful. 

"pot bellied" -pig

Put a space before the minus sign but do not put a space between the minus sign and the word or phrase you want to be excluded.

Use the same trick with a plus sign to automatically include a word in your results. 

"pot bellied" +pig
More »
Definition of Allintitle
Learn the definition of the allintitle tag and how you use it. Word illustration by Marziah Karch

Sometimes you may want to find Web pages where one or more words appear in the title of the page rather than just the body. Use intitle:

Do not put a space between the colon and the word you want to appear in the title.  

intitle:feeding iguana

This will find Web pages that are relevant to the keyphrase "feeding iguana," and it will only list results that have the word "feeding" in the title. You can force both words to appear:

intitle:feeding intitle:iguana

You can also use the syntax allintitle: which only list results where all the words in the key phrase are in the title.

allintitle:iguana feeding
More »
3D Rendering, Robot and laptop, stock exchange trading
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You can use Google's site: syntax to restrict your search to find only results within a single website. Make sure there's no space between site: and your desired website.

Follow your website with a space and then the desired search phrase. 

You don't need to use the HTTP:// or HTTPS:// portion 

site:about.com bread pudding recipes

 The second half is the search phrase. It is usually better to use more than one word in your search to help you narrow down your results. 

This same search can be widened to include all the Web sites within a top level domain.  

Google used to have a verticle search engine called "Uncle Sam" that only searched within government websites. It has been discontinued, but using this trick gets pretty close to the same results. For example:

site:gov geographic survey Idaho

Or try only schools and universities:

site:edu textbook

or only or only specific countries

site:​uk search terms
More »
Cached image using Google search syntax
View a cached images. Screen capture

If a website has recently changed or is not currently responding, you can search for a term in the last cached page stored in Google by using the Cache: syntax. 

cache:google.about.com adsense

This language is case sensitive, so make sure "cache:" is lower case. You also need to make sure there is no space between cache: and your URL. You do need a space between your URL and your search phrase. It's not necessary to put the "HTTP://" part in the URL.

Note: Use Command/Control F to highlight keywords or jump to the desired spot. More »