The 5 Coolest Google Search Hacks You Probably Never Realized Existed

Tina Sieber 03-05-2011

In a recent poll Angela asked “Do You Think Google Search Results Suck?” A shocking 171 votes, i.e. over 30% of voters said “Yes, they’re awful.” Subsequently, there was a hot debate in the comments whether Google’s results are close to perfect or rather full of spam and annoying ads.


Now the thing is search results are only as good as the query you enter! While there are many operands or search operators that the general crowd is aware of, such as quotes or some calculations, there are several cool Google search hacks and tricks that most people have never realized existed, let alone used consciously.

Visually Translate Foreign Words

You can use Google Translate to translate the meaning of a foreign word. Now what if it’s a word foreign only to you? Many technical terms cannot simply be translated to an ‘easy version’. To understand what they mean, however, you can search the term in Google Images and you may actually recognize the item.

For example do you know what a falcon tube is? If not, type images falcon tube into your Google search and have a look.

search hack

This strategy works well for anything that is a noun, such as the foreign language words sol, Apfel, or bouche. It doesn’t work for verbs or adjectives.


Take Search Shortcuts

Google is a smart search engine and provides shortcuts to a lot of information. For example if you would like to know what the local time is in France, rather than searching for a site that reveals the timezone and painfully doing the math yourself, you can just type ‘time in france’ and Google will tell you the answer straight away.

search hack

This trick also works for weather, sports scores, calculations, unit or currency conversions, movie showtimes, flight or parcel tracking, and a lot more. See our cheat sheet of the best Google Search shortcuts and tips The Best Google Search Cheat Sheet: Tips, Operators, and Commands to Know These special Google search tips, operators, and commands will help you narrow down your search results and always get the exact results you're looking for. Read More .

Search For The Unknown

Sometimes you may not be quite sure about the best query for your search. Maybe you don’t know the exact wording, don’t want to exclude synonyms, or simply want to find a similar website to the one you’re currently viewing. Google provides specific search operators for these cases: the wildcard (*), synonym (~), and related (related:url) operators.


You can use the wildcard to replace a random word or even several words. Example: “he who * throw stone” to find “he who is without sin throw the stone.”

The synonym operator will obviously find words synonymous to the one marked with the respective search operator. Example: ~travel destination will also find results for tourist destination, tourism destination, holiday destination, flight destination, and more.

Using the related:url search operator, you can find websites that are similar to the respective URL. Example: will find PC Magazine, Lifehacker, Major Geeks, CNET’s Download page, and StumbleUpon, among others.

search engine hacks


There is a thorough article covering this point here: 3 Google Tricks When You Don’t Know What to Search For 6 Google Tricks When You Don't Know What to Search For Don't know what to search for in Google? Here are a few Google Search tricks you can try that might prove useful. Read More .

Search For Faces Only

There is another Google image search trick that involves face search. Many names are ambiguous and will return a range of results. For example Rose or Violet will generally return pictures of flowers or colors, rather than people. To filter for faces add this bit of code to the end of your search result: &imgtype=face

search engine hacks

Browse Unavailable Pages Using Google Cache

Google collects website data and temporarily stores entire websites in its cache. So the next time you find that your favorite website is down or blocked, try to access it via Google’s cache and bridge the time until you can access it again.


Just type cache:url and the latest available snapshot of the page will be presented.

google search hacks

Do you need your Google search to be even more useful? Find more tips and tricks in these articles:

For even more tips and tricks, check out the Google Guide.

Did you learn a new trick today? Or did I forget to mention your favorite Google search hack? Feel free to add it in the comments!

Image credits: Sean Gladwell

Related topics: Google, Google Search, Web Search.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Anonymous
    May 8, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Google is the best search engine. I've used others but the Relevance that Google comes up with, its not possible in other engines.

  2. Saikat Basu
    May 4, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Those who have visual memories can use Google Image Search as a learning aid. For instance, I use it as a vocabulary trainer by bringing up images of a particular word I am trying to learn the meaning of. It's helps in retention because I remember the image and can associate it with the word.

  3. Anne
    May 4, 2011 at 3:27 am

    As someone who is now classed as middle aged, and has very little computer knowledge, i salute google - it really does help me in everyday life and i congratulate it! Am not sorry and will not apologise for it!

  4. Scutterman
    May 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    I always find "Define:Term" to be useful to find the meaning of words.