Becoming a Google Search Wizard: Tricks+shortcuts

Introduction: Becoming a Google Search Wizard: Tricks+shortcuts

About: I am a teenager, building since I was 4 (and soldering since I was 7). I enjoy building things and inventing all kinds of little projects, some of which I share here!

Google is a search engine used by people all over the world every day. It can be a very handy tool to use, but to make it even handier to use, they added some handy little things to make your search even more powerful. In this instructable, I will show you a bunch of handy tricks to make sure you get what you want from your next search in the Google search engine.
All you need is access to the internet!

Step 1: Getting Rid of Stuff You Don't Want

One time I remember using a lot of these tricks was when I was writing a research paper. I needed information on William Ernest Henley, but I was not allowed to use sites like wikipedia. To make sure I only got what I wanted, I added "-wikipedia" to the end of my search, so that it became this: William Ernest Henley -wikipedia
This restricted the search to William Ernest Henley, but it could not have anything with wikipedia.Try it out Here.

Step 2: Restricting the Search to Certain Sites

Another thing I needed was to make sure that the site I was using was .edu. To make sure this was the case, I added site:edu
to the end of my search. I also used it to search specifically within a certain site by putting the name of the site after the Site: tag. For example, to make sure you only search for World War Two on the Encyclopedia Britannica website, try this:
World War Two
Make sure that there is no http:// or www. in the Site: area. Check that out here.

Step 3: Search More Specifically

Also with William Ernest Henley comes his famous poetry. I know that one of his more famous poems, Invictus, has a line that says "My head is bloody, but unbowed." In order to search for this, I could simply type that, but I also might get results that are not in that order, and therefore not what I want. To search only in that order, add quotes so that the phrase peanuts are yummy becomes:
"Peanuts are yummy".
In my case, a search for "My head is bloody, but unbowed" results in a search for that in that order.
Check it  out Here.
Check out what happens if you do it wrong Here. (As you can see, by messing up the order, Google can't search for it and get results unless you remove the quotes.)

Step 4: Searching for a File Type

I find that sometimes I just need a file of a certain type. To do this, use the filetype tag. For example, to make sure I only got the PDF's for meatloaf recipes, I used filetype:pdf after my search. This results in this:
Meatloaf recipe filetype:pdf
What you type after the filetype: should be the 3 letter abbreviation for the file type. Try this one out Here.

Step 5: Convert Stuff

Google has a feature in which one can search for conversion units, and it will also calculate them for you. For example, I like 5k's and want to know how many miles that is. To find out, I just search for this:
5 kilometers in miles
and I get a little table that tells me just that.
Check it out Here.
You can also try this out with currency by typing the same format as previously. For example, to find out 10 US dollars in Euros, I type this:
10 usd in euros
Check that one out Here.

Step 6: Find Related Stuff

If I found a website I like, I can find others like it with related:. For example, to find other sites like instructables, I type this:
and I get a list of similar sites. Try that out Here.

Step 7: Search Within a Range

When you buy something, you want something fairly expensive so you know it is quality, but too expensive is no good either. If I want, say, a lamp between 10 and 25 dollars, I would search for this:
Lamp $10..$25
and when I scroll past the ads, I get the results I was looking for! The .. is the trick. By adding two periods, you tell Google that you are looking for a range. You do not need to do this with money, it just needs to be two numbers.
Check that out Here.

Step 8: Search Greater Than

If I am lucky enough to be so rich I can buy all the batteries I want, perhaps I don't want a range. Perhaps I want every battery for sale on the internet as long as it has 100v. Assuming I am kept off of my meds long enough to do so, I would simply type
Batteries '100.. V'
and get This. Unfortunately, this seems to search for batteries, volts, and any number over 100, so seeing as I cannot find batteries with voltages over 100 volts, credit card companies everywhere are safe. However, although I cannot come up with a good example, it is a good one to know.

Step 9: Get Info About Flight Schedules

Imagine you are a secret agent who needs to know when the next flight from the US to Germany is-the freedom of the whole world is at stake here! You could make a few phone calls, or you could bring up Google and search for this:
Flights from Washington to Berlin
and get This. When you get past the ads, there is a lovely table giving you all the information you need, with prices and airlines. Of course, this handy trick is not reserved for secret agents!  You, too, can search for flights in the same ways. (As a little tip when buying airline tickets online: From what I understand, a lot of these airlines have cookies so that they know when you come back, and guess you will buy from them, resulting in them raising prices a little for their profit. Clear your cookies before buying an airline ticket online!)

Step 10: Search for Public Data

Like you, Google has access to public data made public by your town, state, etc. However, unlike you (Probably unlike you, anyway) Google is willing to filter through that info for you and give you tidbits of info. For example, I would like to know how many people live in Chicago. To find out, I search this:
population chicago
and Google tells me, as you can see here. It also gives me graphs and stuff.

Step 11: Stocks and Finance

Google can help you keep tabs on the stock market and other financial info. Although I do not dabble in the market, if I wanted to, I could search for the current stock for Google by typing GOOG into the search bar. This will give me a graph of their stock market info and currents price for stocks. Check it out here.

Step 12: Finding Earthquake and Weather Information

I like knowing what weather is coming my way, and knowing where the earth in shifting is pretty cool too. To find out the weather, I can simply search 
and I get some weather statistics for my area. I can also search 
and I will get a list of recent earthquakes, as well as some basic info about them, as seen here.

Step 13: TaDa!

I hope that now you understand the ins and outs of Google just a little bit more, and that these tips will allow you to search more efficiently for whatever you need, whether it be for a research paper, a recipe, or pictures of cats. Please let me know any questions or comments you have, and as always, have a nice day!

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    5 Discussions


    6 years ago

    Good info. Next time you're doing a paper, though, you may want to use


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks, that is really helpful!

    (btw there is a broken link in step 2).


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for pointing it out, and i'm glad you enjoyed! The link should be fixed now.

    rasha yellow
    rasha yellow

    6 years ago

    Really useful info-thx


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Glad you enjoyed! I know these tricks have saved my skin before, and I'm glad I was able to share them with you!