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Google isn’t the only game in town when it comes to search. Alternatives such as Bing 10 Cool Features of The Bing Search Engine 10 Cool Features of The Bing Search Engine Read More , DuckDuckGo 6 Cool DuckDuckGo Features You Won't Find On Google 6 Cool DuckDuckGo Features You Won't Find On Google In a world ruled by Google, at least where search is concerned, it’s sometimes hard to imagine a worthy alternative. DuckDuckGo is one website that is trying to offer such an alternative. If you’ve been... Read More , and Wolphram Alpha 10 Surprising Things You Didn't Know Wolfram Alpha Could Do 10 Surprising Things You Didn't Know Wolfram Alpha Could Do I continue to be amazed by Wolfram Alpha and the way it crunches numbers around openly available data. The result – it shows us the world in a far more inter-connected and interesting way. It... Read More also provide the tools necessary to search the Web. However, the figures don’t lie, and the figures suggest that the majority of Internet users choose Google over the rest of the competition.

With that in mind it’s important to make sure all of those Google users are utilizing all that Google has to offer when it comes to its search engine. Everyone knows how to conduct a normal search by typing some words and/or a phrase into the box provided and following the links that emerge from the overcrowded fog. But Google Search offers a lot more than just the basics.

Google has rolled out various innovations over the years designed to make our lives easier when it comes to finding the information we’re looking for when we head to the company’s homepage. Thanks to a combination of the OneBox module which directly answers many queries without the user ever needing to click away to an external site, and the Knowledge Graph results An In-Depth Look At Google's New Knowledge Graph An In-Depth Look At Google's New Knowledge Graph Read More which add extra layers of information to each search, Google has somewhat succeeded in its mission.

What follows is a list of eight Google Search tricks (or tips, or shortcuts, or hacks, depending on your preference of nomenclature) that everyone should be using. Or, at the very least, be aware of for the sake of saving time in the future. If you were already aware of some or all of them, then award yourself a gold star and the title of Google Search Veteran.

Clock

Type: “time [location]”. Example: “time london

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There are a multitude of reasons for needing to know what the time is elsewhere in the world. You may have relatives living in another country, or work online and have meetings and/or deadlines, or perhaps you’re just an inquisitive soul wondering what ungodly hour it is in some far-off foreign clime. This Google Search shortcut allows you to see what time it is in any major city around the world without ever having to leave the comfort of the Google homepage.

Sun

Type: “sunrise [location]”. Example: “sunrise london
Type: “sunset [location]”. Example: “sunset london

I have to say I’m not one of these people who lives by the hours dictated by the Earth spinning on its axis. However, a lot of people cannot help but be affected by the coming and going of the Sun and the natural light it emits. And those souls often like to keep track of the time the Sun rises and sets. These Google Search shortcuts allow you to find out what time the Sun is due to rise and set on any given day in any given location.

Stocks

Type: “[name of stock]”. Example: “fb” or “goog

I’m not fortunate enough to own stocks and shares in any companies. Contrary to popular belief this writing malarkey doesn’t guarantee fame and fortune. However, if I do ever take the plunge and invest in a company, it’s nice to know that this Google Search shortcut exists to make keeping an eye on that investment as simple as typing a few letters into Google.

Demographics

Type: “population [location]”. Example: “population london
Type: “unemployment rate [location]“. Example: “unemployment rate london

These Google Search shortcuts won’t be to everybody’s taste, but they are perhaps the most important ones on the list. If you have ever wondered how many people live in a particular city, country, or even continent then the first is for you. And if you’re looking to move to pastures new but need to check the unemployment rate first, the second Google Search shortcut is there just waiting to be utilized.

Translation

Type: “translate [words] [language]”. Example: “translate read carefully french

I know what you’re thinking, there’s a whole section of Google dedicated to translating one language into another. There is, and it’s called Google Translate, but a pared down version can also be accessed from the homepage with a shortcut suitable for single words or short phrases. And it speeds up the whole process by a considerable margin.

Timer

Type: “set timer to [time]”. Example: “set timer to 5 minutes
Type: “set timer for [time]”. Example: “set timer for 19:00

As humans we tend to be overly governed by time and the restrictions it places upon us. We have watches, clocks, alarm clocks, timers, and stopwatches, all designed to measure time for one reason or another. Even Google gets in on the action, with these simple shortcuts that let you set a timer either for a set amount of time or for a set time in the future.

Weather

Type: “weather [location]”. Example: “weather london

As a British person I’m somewhat obsessed with the weather. It’s an affliction borne from living in a country which can experience all four seasons in just one day. I’ve also written about the best weather websites in existence What Are The Best Weather Websites? What Are The Best Weather Websites? I'm rather obsessed with the weather. It's not my fault, it's just that I was born and brought up in the U.K., and all British people are obsessed with the weather. I think it's because... Read More , many of which are nerdy to the extreme. But for those who just need to know the basic forecast in their hometown this Google Search shortcut should provide all of the necessary information.

Domains

Type: “related:[domain]”. Example: “related:makeuseof.com
Type “site:[domain]”. Example: “site:makeuseof.com

Last but not least are two well-established Google Search shortcuts that I suspect aren’t used by nearly enough people. They’re both extremely useful tricks to have up your sleeve when conducting searches that demand the removal of all the noise. The first will list domains related to the one you search for, while the second means you’ll only see results for that particular domain.

Conclusions

Some of these tricks previously appeared on our Google Search tips cheat sheet, but deserved revisiting in great detail. Yaara has also previously covered the same topic, and reading her article asking, ‘Are you SURE you know how to use Google?‘ will gift you several more shortcuts to use as you search the Web.

Now it’s over to you to tell us any Google Search tips or tricks you know of. Whether they utilize the OneBox platform, add Knowledge Graph results to searches, or shortcut the process in another way, we’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments section below.

Image Credit: Antonio Manfredonio

  1. Amar
    November 25, 2013 at 11:46 am

    very helpful.........I found a great collection of google's advanced searching tips and tricks here - http://www.superpctricks.com/2013/11/googles-advanced-searching-tricks.html

  2. Ankit Jain
    October 19, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Interesting article.
    I can not use timer option. Is it available for only US ?
    filetype:.ppt/.pdf/.xls might be used to find the relevant files for search and go.
    Thank you for posting.

  3. sanjay
    September 27, 2013 at 4:27 am

    Awesome tips all are working.
    More search tip available here http://incredibleengineering.com/top-10-unknown-google-tricks-3

  4. Sean
    September 6, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    define:[word] works
    Also enter simple mathematical expressions, like 3*4 or cos 30 degrees to bring up the correct answer and calculator

  5. Timmeh
    August 12, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    There's also the ability to Convert things. E.g. "[Conversion 1] to [Conversion 2]" For instance "yen to pound" or "KM to CM". It works with various units of measurement and allows you to adjust one and get the result for the other or vice-verse

    • Robotguy
      September 5, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      Especially when you combine calculations with conversion:

      18 inches * 10 inches * 12 inches in gallons
      120 volts * 3 amps in horsepower
      61 miles/45 minutes in kilometers per hour
      3 gallons / 72 seconds in liters per minute

  6. Timmeh
    August 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I believe there is one for "Define"

    "Define [Word]"
    This will give you a definition or definitions from one of the top dictionary sites online.
    Example: "Define Example"

    ex·am·ple
    /ig?zamp?l/
    Noun
    A thing characteristic of its kind or illustrating a general rule.
    Verb
    Be illustrated or exemplified.
    Synonyms
    instance - sample - model - exemplar - pattern - paradigm

  7. Elmer Escoto
    August 12, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    The only one that worked for me was the "weather" one.
    Are these functions attached to the location and/or languange of the user? I am in Honduras, Central America.

    Thanks for the post, it is great to know all this.

  8. Irakli K
    August 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    functions like this are not as actively advertised by Google, wonder why they don't pay more attention to this. if they'd integrated it through their products (G+, android...) it would make huge difference, for users and G as well

  9. Tony L
    August 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    I have CDFS MP3-G Discs, and have trouble getting them to my desktop, they're apparently old software, how can you help me?

    • Lisa O
      August 11, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      You posted this comment on the wrong page of the site. Try the Q&A section, 'MUO Answers'.

  10. Pooky J
    August 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    The time and sun command don't work for my town (Siem Reap, Cambodia).

  11. Chuck Cloninger
    August 9, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Ah ha! Tips for esoteric information about things I have never needed or wanted to know about. What's next? How to find the average weight of an aardvark?

    • Dave
      August 9, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      @cloninger Ah ha! Tips that weren't actually designed for you personally. Of the eight I found 2 that would be useful. But I can imagine how any of them might be useful to someone else. That ability to imagine the existence of other minds is part of what makes me human.

      If you want tips designed for you personally, write them. And, BTW, knowing the time and weather in a foreign city isn't actually "esoteric".

      • Dave P
        August 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm

        Exactly right. 2 out of 8 isn't bad. If everyone who stumbles across this learns 2 new Google shortcuts then I've done my job :)

    • Dave P
      August 9, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      None of these things can accurately be described as "esoteric." Unless you live in a bubble where the time of day, the weather, and the price of stocks and shares don't affect you in any way.

      • my42centsw0rth
        August 13, 2013 at 10:15 pm

        You have done very well, Dave. I appreciate all information, esoteric or not, and count it towards my IQ. AND, I kick butt at trivia games, Jeopardy and the Wheel! No one will bet against me when it comes to knowing 'esoteric' stuff, either. I get sooooo many great things from MUO. You are usually my first bookmark I make when I set them up and the only website I look at EVERYDAY.
        Soooo, 'esoteric' guy needs to troll anther website since he's no help here.
        Love You Guys!!!!

      • my42centsw0rth
        August 13, 2013 at 10:22 pm

        Oh, and an aardvark averages about 100 lbs. or so, and the name means 'earth pig'. So, there.......no I didn't look it up, I already knew that! Esoteric........indeed

    • Chuck Cloninger
      August 9, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      Okay everyone, I've crawled out of my bubble and wish to amend my remark. No, not esoteric.....perhaps not of any particular use would have come closer to my mark? I don't know about anyone else but I would use these so seldom that I would not be likely to remember how to get there and would use another method (like the Apple clock app) to get the info. And if I needed it often I would already have it set up on my phone or computer to "one click" it to get the information.
      Time of day is on my phone and computer already.
      Weather is on my phone and computer already.
      My stocks and a overall stock site is already on my phone and computer too.
      So, I suppose at best, these tips give me another way of doing something that I'm already doing?

      But what about that aardvark weight business guys?

      • Dave P
        August 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm

        Not of any particular use to you, but thousands of others will find this article useful.

        Not everyone has a smartphone with these apps on them. But yes, consider these as a backup.

        Google hasn't yet seen fit to include a "weight" shortcut, but Wikipedia is helpful on regards to the aardvark :)
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aardvark

        • my42centsw0rth
          August 13, 2013 at 10:24 pm

          Dave, move on. He doesn't need anything you have to offer, so, tell him how to look up aardvark so he can be on his way!

  12. N Nitesh Kumar J
    August 8, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Thanks for the useful tips.

  13. Julian B
    August 8, 2013 at 10:18 am

    thanks for this

  14. Raghul
    August 8, 2013 at 8:37 am

    awesome tips

  15. spencer
    August 8, 2013 at 7:03 am

    I never thought that we can do this, thanks a lot!!

    • Dave P
      August 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      It seems a lot of people were previously unaware of these shortcuts!

  16. Alejandro R
    August 8, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Hi, Good tips! Taking note...
    I also use [amount][currency abv.] to [currency abv.], example: "1 USD to EUR". It is a good start.

    • Dave P
      August 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Nice addition to the list, thank you :)

  17. SH
    August 7, 2013 at 10:09 pm

    These all work brilliantly as spoken searches on my Android phone. I'm amazed that it understood me perfectly when I spoke "related make use of dot com" or "Tee Ess Ell Eh". It did stumble with "translate read carefully french", thinking* that I said "translate read Kathleen french" (*yeah, I know - it doesn't really think)

    • Dave P
      August 9, 2013 at 4:31 pm

      They should all work in that way too, which makes them even more useful. Thanks for commenting :)

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