10 Google Search Tricks

I have compiled a list of search tips you can use daily to enhance the search accuracy and improve your productivity.

Here are search tips

1. Exact phrase search

You can search the exact phrase by placing it inside the quotes. For example “Computer News” and Computer News give entirely different result. The phrase inside quote gives results containing the exact phrase.

2. Use asterisk in quotes

If you don’t know the exact phrase (missing word) you can use asterisk within the quotes to specify unknown or variable words. For example searching “oil price in *” can result in the search containing all one more word in the phrase – like “oil price in USA” or “oil price in Europe” and likes.

You can try “when life gives you *” and see what word might have appeared at the place of asterisk or what are the varieties of the phrase.

3. Define words for meaning

If you need the meaning of a word and don’t want to get to the dictionary, Google can also be a great help. Just search for define:word and google gives the meaning of the word.

4. Delete word from search, use minus

If you are searching for all the fun things about “when life gives you” phrase but not with lemon, you can search for “when life gives you” -lemons. Now, can get all those OJ and Ruby quotes without lemons in them.

I thought this tool would have been handy to search for the place in Nepal called Mustang. But, the search Mustang -car -Ford car and Ford from the search, but results were still about Mustang, the car. But, Mustang place did the trick though.

mustang search

5. site: search

If you want to search a particular site for keywords, use “site:” tool. For example, if you want to search for Facebook in computernewsreport.com, you can type: facebook site:computernewsreport.com

google search tip, site

6. Compare foods with vs

Google has a full nutrients information on the most common food items. If you need to compare two foods, Google lists the full nutritional information of the foods. For example I wanted to know the difference between eating rice and pasta – as I typed pasta vs rice in Google search, the following screen appeared even before I clicked on the search button.

search tip food vs

There is a chart for Pasta vs spaghetti but I couldn’t find one for pasta vs sandwich. That might be because sandwich depends more on the ingredients it is made up of.

7. Search image by image

Did you know that Google lets you search images by letting you upload your own image. For example, if you want to search for a person you have taken a photo of, or you might want to search for the image you had saved in your computer. Google lets you upload the image and show all the location the image available and also similar photos.

google search by image

To use this feature you might want to search some thing random in google homepage and click on “Image” tab on the top (as shown in the image above).

I uploaded a photo to test, Google rightly found out the page I downloaded image from. But, the visually similar photos didn’t match the actress.

namita khadka image search google

8. Google Search Tools

When you click on the Google’s “Search Tools” link available on any search result, you are offered various tools to tailor your search. You can tailor the search by country, by time, and by the city.

google search tools, time location

Among them, I find city/location and time the most useful function. I can easily filter the updates of a particular date or range of dates. Following example shows the custom date range search result:

google custom date search tool

9. Video, Image, News, Maps, Books, Flights, Apps

It is obvious google lets us to search for Video, Image, News, Maps. There is a more button containing Books, Flights, Apps to search for.

google search tabs

If you haven’t clicked on the ‘More’ button, it is the time to start. Ability to searching Books, Flights and Apps are very useful tool today.

10. Hidden Calculator

Most of us have used Google to search pages but have you used it as a calculator?

If you haven’t here is how you can use it as a calculator.

google search calculator
That’s simple, how about square root :
google search calculator

Here are other operators that you can use in Google Search Calculator
sqrt – square root
sin, cos, etc. – trigonometric functions (numbers are assumed to be radians) for example – sin(pi/3), tan(45 degrees)
ln logarithm base e
log logarithm base 10

+ addition
– subtraction
* multiplication
/ division
^ exponentiation (raise to a power of)
% modulo (finds the remainder after division)
% of X % of Y computes X percent of Y
More details can be found in Google’s help on calculator.


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