Are You SURE You Know How to Use Google?

Ads by Google

how to use googleMost of you are probably thinking “you bet!” or “what’s there to KNOW?” right about now. I believe you. The truth is, if you know how to enter a query and hit enter, you know how to use Google. At least in its basic form. And if you search often, you’ve probably also encountered Google’s OneBox results once or twice before.

What are these OneBox results? While you may not have heard the name before, OneBox results have been around for years now, and have been helping you get focused and clearer results for your search queries. Have you ever searched for the local weather and got a small widget on top showing you what the weather is like today? That’s a great example of OneBox results. This is not to be confused with Knowledge Graph results, which appear to the right of the page. Knowledge Graph results were added less than a year ago.

The new and slick Knowledge Graph aside, there are still dozens of useful things you can find out from OneBox results. All you need to know is the right syntax to activate them, and you’re into a whole new world of Google results. This could take you all day to read if I try to mention them all, but here are some you definitely don’t want to miss. Looking for more useful tips on how to use Google? Check out our Google Search cheat sheet.

Entertainment

When it comes to movies, books, music, etc., Google is full of useful surprises. Want to explore the full discography or filmography of an artist? Look for [artist] movies or [artist] albums. This yields a visual display of all movies/albums, complete with covers, names and release dates. Click on any album/movie to read more about it in Knowledge Graph.

This works just as well with authors: search for [author] books. You can get the roster for any sports team in the same fashion by looking for [sports team] roster.

how to use google

You can also search for [artist] latest album to quickly find what the latest release was.

Ads by Google

Found a movie you want to watch? Search for [name of movie] [zipcode] to find local show times (works in the US, Canada, and most of Europe, might also work in other regions). Can’t decide which movie to watch? movie [zipcode] will find local show times for all movies playing around you.

ways to use google

Want to find when your favorite team is playing next? Searching for the team’s name will yield all upcoming and recent games, complete with scores (if applicable), rival teams, team logos, times and ticket links.

ways to use google

Numbers

In the olden days, people calculated things in their heads, or using pen and paper. Later on, we started using calculators for everything. Today, you don’t even need to launch (or bring) your calculator for most things, just use Google. Google’s calculator can handle anything from simple calculations to more complex ones. All you have to do is search for the equation, and Google will present the result.

ways to use google

Want to continue calculating with your result? Google’s calculator is completely usable, and you can use it to continue your calculations.

You can also use Google to draw graphs, from simple ones to 3D ones. Enter an equation in the search box and see what happens.

using google

But there’s more to numbers than math equations. In day-to-day life, we commonly use numbers as measurements. Google has you covered there too. How many milliliters are there in a cup? How many grams in an ounce? Google shows immediate results for all such queries. You can even play around with the dropdown menus to get further conversions.

using google

The same trick works with currency conversions. Just search for “23 usd in euro” (or anything similar) and get an immediate conversion, along with a full graph of currency-rates history.

using google

Travel

Flying somewhere? Google shows OneBox results for general flight searches as well as flight information for specific flights. Look for [airline] [flight number] to find out where this flight is at the moment, where it’s coming from and when and where it’s landing.

google-search-tips-8

If you search for “flights from [X] to [Y]” you’ll find a list of available flights with current prices. But what if you’ve decided to drive this time? How long is it going to take you?

Try searching for [starting point] to [destination] and see what happens. This trick doesn’t always work, and I only got it to work with US addresses, but you can play around and see what you get.

google-search-tips-8[4]

Already there and looking for things to do? Searching for “things to do in [place]” will yield a visual guide to the most popular local attractions. Clicking on an attraction will show its specific Google search results.

google-search-tips-9

General Knowledge

There’s an endless amount of facts to be found on Google, and you may encounter hidden OneBox results you didn’t know existed just by entering your queries. But in case you’re curious, here are some interesting ones worth trying.

Looking for health information? Google provides instant information on some diseases and medicine. Type in the name to see what you get.

google-search-tips-10

Interested in gaining some general knowledge? Google offers instant results for questions like “how big is Paris?”, “who is the president of Micronesia?”, “how tall is the Empire State building?” and many others.

google-search-tips-11[4]

You can also find such oddities as team mascots and dog-breed characteristics in this way.

Google also helps you in the language department, by providing both instant translations and instant dictionary definitions for English words. This doesn’t work for every word in the English language, naturally, but it usually works for words you might need a definition for.

google-search-tips-12

To get instant translations, search for translate [word] to [language]”. This works in all languages supported by Google Translate.

how to use google

Are You Sure NOW?

While I’m sure you knew how to use Google for searching before, these neat tricks sure make it easier and much more fun. The most exciting part about it, is that Google keeps adding more and more of these. When writing these post, I kept searching for random terms and queries to see if I can find some cool OneBox results.

Looking for yet more tips and tools to improve your search? Check out some more Google search tools you might not using so much.

Have you found a really useful one I missed? Is there one you use all the time that I didn’t mention? Share your favorite search tips in the comments.

Image credit: checklist image via Shutterstock

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
Web for Kids
Web for Kids
20 Members
Deep Web Communities
Deep Web Communities
37 Members
Awesome Websites
Awesome Websites
73 Members
Best Music Services
Best Music Services
26 Members
Ads by Google
Comments (50)
  • Edward Bellair

    Helpful

  • Tiziano Gregory Perugini

    Great! Hope google is working also on shortcuts

  • juan cervera

    we need to get free software from google to keep our pc ready to use all these tips. ok thanks

  • ethan

    You never mentioned that u can use an operator to define ANY word

    • Yaara Lancet

      That’s true. Some users have already pointed this out in the comments. Thanks. :)

  • Nuno André Catarino

    This is not so instant for Google users in other countries. Using the same syntax you use in Portugal we’re not given the same results in some of the searches you did. For example the calculator won’t open… and i guess that this is one among many search functionalities that Google hasn’t already made available for all the countries. Hope they won’t make me wait many longer!!!

    • Yaara Lancet

      Yes, that’s true. In fact, it’s not really available in my country either. I just use google.com for most everything, as it has many more good features.

Load 10 more
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.