Useful Google Search tips You probably Don’t Know

Useful Google Search tips

Web history

Web History offers you a log of websites you’ve visited, a timeline of your actions and the ability to search your own online history. Try it out at

Ignore spelling

Google’s spell checker automatically defaults to the most common spelling of a given word, whether or not you spell it correctly.

Use web friendly words

A search engine works by matching the words you enter to pages on the web. So using words that are most likely to appear on pages will yield the best results. For example, instead of saying my head hurts, say headache, because that’s the term a medical website would use.

Less is more

Simple, one or two word search terms will usually give you the broadest results. Start with short search terms, then refine your results by adding more words.

Search with an exact phrase

Put quotation marks around words “[any word]” to search for an exact phrase in an exact order. Keep in mind that searching with quotes might exclude relevant results. For instance, a search for “Alexander Bell” will miss pages that refer to Alexander G. Bell.

Use descriptive words

The more unique the word, the more likely you are to get relevant results. So [celebrity ringtones] is probably better than [celebrity sounds]. Keep in mind though, that even if the word has the correct meaning, if it’s not the one most people use, it may not match the pages you need.

Don’t worry about cases

Search isn’t case sensitive. A search for new york times is the same as a search for New York Times.

Search within a specific site

Precede your query with site: if you know you want your answer from within a specific site or type of site (.org, .edu). For example: site:edu or

Don’t worry about punctuation

Search ignores punctuation. This includes @#%^*()=[]\ and other special characters.

Search by file type

Search for specific types of files, such as PDFs, PPTs, or XLS, by adding filetype: and the 3-letter file abbreviation.

Include or ignore words and characters in your search

Highlight common words and characters such as the and & if they are essential to your search (as in a movie or book title) by putting quotation marks “the” around them. You can also use the minus – sign to specify particular items you don’t want in your results, like ingredients in a recipe.

Find related pages

Use the related: operator to find pages that have similar content by typing related: followed by the website address. For instance, if you find a website you like, try using related:[insert URL] to locate similar websites.

Search numbers in a range

Stay within your budget by searching only for items within a number range by putting a string .. between amounts.

Get number conversions

Convert any measurement — like miles to kilometers or ounces to liters — by typing in the number and unit of measurement.

Get the time

To see what time it is anywhere in the world, search time and the city or country.

Get currency conversions

Get current exchange rates by searching [currency 1] in [currency 2].

Check the weather

Search weather followed by a U.S. zip code or the name of any city in the world to get the current weather and forecast. Enter weather by itself to get the weather report for your current location.

Search with Goggles

Want to search the web using your mobile phone’s camera instead of words? On an Android, open your Google Goggles app (on an iPhone, open the Google Search app and select Goggles), snap a picture of the item you want to search for, and wait for your results. No typing necessary.

Track your packages

Track your UPS, FedEx, or USPS packages by typing the tracking number directly into the search box. The results will show you the status of your shipment.

Get definitions

Put define: in front of any word to get its definition.

Calculate anything

Enter any math equation into the search box and we’ll calculate your answer.

Get movie times

Search on a movie name or just movie to see theater locations and showtimes in your area.

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