Google search 101 March 23 2016, 0 Comments

Being the most popular, chances are it’s your default search engine. And while Google processes over 3.5 billion searches in a day, there are lots of Google Search tips most don’t even know about.

Restricting searches

There’s a funny meme around social media that claims “the best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google search results“. Funny, I know, but crazy when you think about it. 95% of all searchers out of the 3.5 billion click on results in the first page! It would seem no one wants to go to the second page at all.

So how do you get exactly what you want without having to browse through pages of search results? Restrict your searches.

  • To receive results from only a specific site, start your search with the command ‘site:’. For example, ‘site:Callcom.com.au galaxy s7’ will only show results from the Callcom website.
  • For results from a single country’s domains, start with ‘site:country’, for example, ‘site:Australia Samsung’
  • For specific file types, start with ‘filetype:’, for example, ‘filetype:mp3 30 Seconds to Mars’

Remember, you can use these commands together to get even more specific results.

Images

Google’s image search is pretty powerful, but you can use it even more effectively. Say, you’re searching for an image to use on your website or blog, how do you know you can use it? Right beneath the search box is a command for ‘Search tools’; clicking on that will give you options to filter the images based on size, time, colour and even usage rights. You can then be confident you won’t be sued for an image you just downloaded.

You can also search an image instead of text through ‘images.google.com’, then either upload or enter the image URL. This may be useful when you have an image and would like a similar one with better quality.

Quick answers

If you need to find something out really quickly, just type it out directly. This is useful for finding out:

  • Word definitions – just type the word e.g. preposterous
  • Customer care numbers – ‘XXX customer care’ for example ‘Callcom customer care’
  • Quick lookups – for example, ‘Sydney attractions’
  • Currency and unit conversions – for example, kilos to pounds e.g. ‘10kg in pounds’

This is even more effective through voice commands because you can even get audio feedback.

Tools

There are a few tools available on Google such as:

  • Calculator: searching the word ‘calculator’ will bring up an onscreen calculator. This may not be very important for a smartphone but can be useful when you’re on the computer.
  • Bubble level: typing ‘bubble level’ into the search box will allow you to use your device as a spirit level. This may be handy when, perhaps, hanging a painting on your wall.