I’m a Google user but most of the information listed below will work in most other search engines as well.
How do you use Google?
Ok, so you need to search for something on the Internet. You go to Google.com, start typing some words to search on and then you start looking through the sites that came back from that search. Did you know there are many tips to help refine your search? We’ll get to some of these in a minute. But, did you also know that you can use Google as a calculator or a world clock? There are many tricks to discover I’ll list some of them out for you.
Lets first go through some techniques for searching:
The most basic way of refining your search is to include many words in the search field. By default, Google will only return the websites that contain all the words in your search. As a quick aside: You can use the word “Or” in the search field to expand your search. But, let’s try to get a little more sophisticated with our searches:
You can search for a term and all related terms by putting a ~ in front of the search. Ex: ~nutrition will also return information about health and food.
What if the item you are searching for has a couple of different meanings –such as Mars – that can be candy, a planet, a store or Roman God. Try using the exclude function: mars –candy –store. This search will return the sites that have the word Mars in them and don’t have the words candy or store.
Want to search for a particular phrase? Simple, put that phrase in quotes. Or, you can string together your words with a phrase connector (hyphens, slashes, periods). An example: mother-in-law or men-are-from-mars
Ok, nothing to exciting there. But, check this out. Want your search to be focused on only 1 site. Enter mars site:space.com . this will return all the matches for Mars specifically on the site space.com.
Or try this: allintitle:mars (return all sites that have Mars in the html title) or allintitle:mars planet (this will return sites with both mars and planet in the html title). You can also use the operands allinurl and allintext to return searches that contain the words in the url or the body of the website.
You can search with a number range. Example: mars 1960..1970 will return information about mars between 1960 and 1970. Want to narrow it down further, put some of these operands together. Try this: mars 1960..1970 site:space.com now you will receive information about Mars between 1960 and 1970 from only the site Space.com
Would you like to see images of your search? Try this: go to Google.com/images and now enter mars in the search field. Or, go to Google.com, enter your search and then click the images link along the top row. Try some other image searches such as New Jersey or Microsoft.
There are other ways you can use Google.com:
As a calculator: Simply type in your math problem in the search field (ex: 100*(150/5)).
As a spell checker: start typing your word and Google will suggest spellings for you.
Want a definition: just enter the word define first: ex: define:mars
As a world clock: want to know what time it is in Venice, Italy –type: time venice
As a currency, metric and bytes convertor calculator: want to know how much $100 is in euros, simply type 100 dollars in euros.
As an area code lookup: simply type in the area code in the search field.
Get the status of an airline flight: simply enter the flight number in the search field and the up to date status will be displayed
Get the current weather conditions for any location: enter the location:weather (ex: venice:weather)
Get up to date stock quotes: enter stocks:symbol ex: stocks:ge
See, there are some cool things you can do besides a plain text search. Have fun and let me know if you have any other Google tips.