Are you Getting the Most From Google?

I’m sure you Google almost every day. Yes, “Google” really is a verb now! That’s how common it is. Whilst there are plenty of other search engines on the internet, Google is by far the most commonly used.

But I’m willing to bet that there are a few things you didn’t know Google could do.

Here are a few of my favourite tricks:

Search Exact Phrases: By putting your search term in quotation marks, the results will match that specific phrase. Useful if you’re trying to finding a famous quote, a song lyric, or even just a multi-word title like “Monty Python”.

Eliminate Words: You can use the minus sign to remove words from your search. For example, if you’re looking for an image of a jaguar (the big cat), you might want to search jaguar -car to remove all references to that nice new Jaguar F-Type.

Site-specific Searches: By using the prefix site: followed by a website address, you limit your search to just that website. For example, owls will limit your search for owls to the BBC website.

Related Sites: Found a website that you really like? Try using the related: prefix to find similar ones. For example, if you can’t find that perfect place on Airbnb, try using to return a list of other holiday rental websites.

Meanings: You can use the prefix DEFINE: to find the meanings of specific words and phrases, including acronyms and slang. For example, still not completely sure what LOL means? Google DEFINE: LOL to get the answer.

File Types: By using filetype: followed by a file extension, you can limit the search to specific file types. This can be especially useful when you’re searching for printable resources. For example, bricklaying filetype:pdf will return only PDFs about bricklaying.

A few more random tools and tricks:

  • Tip calculator - you can even split the bill!
  • 20 min timer - or whatever time you need, will start a countdown timer.
  • 4*123 - or any calculation will return a result (* is multiply and / is divide).
  • $5 in £ - or any currency conversion.
  • Translate bonjour into English - or any phrase in over 100 languages.
  • Flip a coin - you can probably see where this one’s going.
  • Atari Breakout then click on “Images” - (thank me later!).

Google is a brilliant resource. Hopefully this article will save you a little bit of time when you’re looking for information online.

EssentialsMAG tech contributor is David Hughes a freelance web developer
Tel: 07595 303418.


Victoria Lee