Written by Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade - Nigeria
You are ever ready to consult Google when you're looking for a webpage, but did you know there are many other useful, quick things you can do, right from the Google search bar?
Try doing a quick calculation, figuring out conversion rates before your next trip, or finding a definition of a word. All these are right at your fingertips with some little known features of Google search.
The following advanced Google search tips are by no means comprehensive. Be assured you that by learning and using them, you'll rank up really high with the best of the Google experts out there.
So, here we go!
Google as your calculator
Type a math calculation into the search box and Google computes it for you – from simple calculations to more complex equations. You can type your query in words, numbers, symbols or a combination e.g. two plus two, 2+2, or twelve divided by three, 12/3.
Use the tabs
Ever notice the tabs on Google search? On the top of every search are a number of tabs. Usually you'll see Web, Image, News, and More. Using these tabs, you can help to define what kind of search you need to do. If you need images, use the Image tab. If you are looking for a recent news article, use the News tab. It's rudimentary and most people use the tabs already. If you are not, then it's highly recommended to get acquainted with them. They can cut search times dramatically if utilised properly.
Easily perform currency conversions. Type '£10 in Naira', '$10 in Euros' or 'ten pounds in euros' to see the latest rates.
Search within a site
If you're looking for a book from Amazon.com, or a newspaper article from punchng.com, there's no need to go hunting through the site. With Google, you can quickly and easily do a site search by typing your query, and 'site:punchng.com' or 'site:thisdaylive.com'
To get there even faster, try entering your query and the web site and clicking 'I'm feeling lucky'. For instance, if you're looking for a bicycle on ebay, try entering 'bicycle ebay' and 'I'm feeling lucky', and Google takes you right where you want to go.
Use inverted commas to make a search more precise
When searching for something specific, try using quotes to minimise the guesswork for Google search. When you put your search parameters in quotes, it tells the search engine to search for the whole phrase. For instance, if you search for Nigeria Presidential Election, the engine will search for content that contains those three words in any order. However, if you search "Nigeria Presidential Election", it will search for that phrase exactly as you typed it. This can help locate specific information that may be buried under other content if not sorted out correctly.
Results on a map
When you want to quickly see the location of somewhere to eat, put your type of food plus the town or postcode and Google will display the results on a useful map e.g. Chinese restaurants in Lagos shows you restaurants fitting that description in that area.
Use Google to get glossary definitions gathered from various online sources. Just type in the word you're looking for and 'definition', and Google will search online to give you the meaning you're looking for.
Follow your favourite football team
If you're a fan of the English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch or Italian football league, it's easy to get up to date match scores and data, or information about your team's next match. Simply type in your team's name and detailed up-to-the-minute information will appear at the top of your results.
No need for capital letters or plurals
Google searches the same no matter whether words are capitalised or not. It is not required so save yourself time and simply type your query in one case. Google ignores common words like the, and, is, of and to when used in search queries without quotes. Adding them does not improve results so just leave them out. In addition, Google automatically searches for all stems of a word, so you do not need to do separate searches for dance, dances and dancing. Type one of the words and Google will do the rest, giving you results in one list.
Web page translation
The "Language Tools" link to the right of the search box on the homepage takes you to Google's translation service and also lets you translate entire websites into your language. Great for students, academics or researchers.
Parental tips - safe searching
Click on "preferences" next to the search box to view and adjust the Safe search settings (choose from "strict", "moderate" or "no filtering").
Searching for a specific file type? Add the file extension to your search query to locate files of that type e.g. architecture PDF.
This or that:
By default, when you conduct a search, Google will include all the terms specified in the search. If you're looking for any terms to match, then you can use the OR operator. (Note: The or has to be capitalised). Example Search: inbound marketing or advertising
Let's say you want to search for content about inbound marketing, but you want to exclude any results that contain the term advertising. To do this, simply use the "-" sign in front of the word you want to exclude.