Web Search Techniques Unlocking the Power of Google

Google knows everything. Need the weather forecast? Ask Google. Looking for directions to a restaurant? Google it. Have a strange rash or want to know why your dog is eating grass? Google has the answers. But basic Google searches only scratch the surface. To truly harness the power of Google, you need to master advanced search techniques. In this article, we’ll explore 36 Google Search tricks that will help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

What’s an Omnibox?

Before we dive into the tricks, let’s clarify a few key terms.

Omnibox (or Omnibar): The omnibox serves two functions. It’s where you enter or view a site’s web address, and it’s where you can enter your search query.

Google Search bar: This is the box where you enter your search term. It can be found on Google’s homepage or at the top of your Google Search results page.

Throughout this article, we’ll refer to both the omnibox and the Google Search bar as the “search bar” since most of the tips can be performed in both places. If an action can only be performed in one location, we’ll make that clear.

1. Perform Quick Calculations

Let’s start with a simple trick that can save you time. Instead of reaching for a calculator, you can ask Google to perform quick calculations for you. Simply enter an equation into the search bar, and Google will display the answer in the search suggestions. For example, if you need to multiply 18 by 2, just type “18×2” into the search bar, and Google will give you the answer.

But Google can do more than basic calculations. It even has advanced calculators that can graph functions like sin and cos, or solve geometry problems like finding the area of a circle with a radius of 4.

  1. Perform Quick Data Conversions

If you ever find yourself needing to convert units of measurement or currencies, Google can help with that too. To convert units, simply search for the conversion using the following formula: [value of first unit] to [second unit]. For example, if you want to convert square feet to square miles, search for “square foot to square mile”. Google will provide the conversion for you.

You can also use Google’s unit converter by searching for “unit converter”. This will bring up a conversion calculator where you can select the type of conversion you need, such as area, data transfer rate, digital storage, energy, frequency, fuel economy, length, mass, plane angle, pressure, speed, temperature, time, or volume. Simply enter the value and units you want to convert, and Google will give you the answer.

  1. Perform Quick Currency Conversions

When travelling internationally, it’s often necessary to convert currencies. Google makes this easy by allowing you to enter the conversion directly into the search bar. Simply type “[value of first unit] to [second unit]” to get the conversion. For example, if you want to convert 100 US dollars to euros, search for “100 USD to EUR”. Google will give you the current exchange rate and the converted amount.

You can also convert cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin directly from the search bar. Just enter the name of the cryptocurrency and the currency you want to convert it to, like “Bitcoin to USD”.

  1. Get Current Stock Prices

If you’re interested in keeping track of the stock market, Google can provide you with up-to-date stock prices. Simply enter the stock symbol or ticker into the search bar, and Google will display the current stock price along with other financial details.

  1. Find the Dates of Upcoming Holidays

Not sure what date a specific holiday falls on? Google can help with that too. Simply enter the name of the holiday followed by the year, and Google will display the date. For example, if you want to know when Christmas will be in 2022, search for “Christmas 2022”.

  1. Compare Flight Costs

Planning a trip and want to find the best deals on flights? Google has you covered. Simply enter the departure and destination cities into the search bar in the format “[city] to [city]”. Google will provide an at-a-glance view of the top flight options, including prices, airlines, and travel times. You can even modify the travel dates, filter by seat types, and view only nonstop flights directly from the Google Search results page.

If you know the airport codes for your departure and destination airports, you can include them in your search to further narrow down the results.

  1. Calculate Travel Distances

If you need to know the distance between two locations and the estimated travel time, Google can provide that information as well. Simply enter “[location A] to [location B]” into the search bar, and Google will display the commute times for various transportation modes, including driving, taking a bus, walking, or riding a bike.

If it’s possible to fly between your two locations, Google will also display flight options at the top of the search results. To view the distance and travel times by ground transportation, simply scroll down a bit.

If there’s an ocean between your two locations, Google will only show flight options. However, if you want to get the distance including the ocean, you can add the word “distance” to your search query. For example, if you want to know the distance from New York to London including the ocean, search for “New York to London distance”.

  1. Compare Hotel Prices

Finding the perfect hotel at the best price can be a time-consuming task. Luckily, Google can make it easier. Simply enter “hotels [city]” into the search bar, and Google will display a list of hotels along with their prices. From the search results page, you can modify the dates of your stay, the number of guests, and apply filters like “top-rated” and “budget options”. If you want to see more hotel options or apply additional filters, just click “View all hotels”.

  1. Find Local Events

If you’re planning a trip and want to know what events are happening during your visit, Google can help. Simply search for “[city] events” to see a list of upcoming events in that city. By default, Google will show you the top three upcoming events, but you can click “Next Month” or “More” to see additional events.

  1. Translate Words to Other Languages

No need to carry around a pocket language book when travelling. Google can quickly translate words for you. Just enter “[word] in [language]” into the search bar, and Google will provide the translation. For example, if you want to know how to say “thank you” in French, search for “thank you in French”.

  1. Get Word Definitions and Etymologies

If you come across a word or phrase that you’re not familiar with, Google can provide definitions and etymologies. Simply add “define” before the word or phrase in the search bar. For example, if you want to know the definition of the word “serendipity”, search for “define serendipity”. You can also add “etymology” before a word to learn more about its origins.

  1. Track the Status of a Flight

If you’re waiting for a flight or want to track the status of someone else’s flight, Google can help. Simply search for the flight number, and Google will display the current flight status. You can also toggle to view yesterday’s status or the next two days’ status directly from the search results.

If someone has shared their flight details with you via Gmail, and you know the name of the airline, you can search for the name of the airline, and Google should populate their flight details.

  1. Get Customer Support Information

If you need to contact customer support for a company, Google can provide you with the phone number or contact information. Simply search for “[company name] customer service number”, and Google will display the information. If a company doesn’t offer customer support by phone, Google will try to provide an alternative, such as the company’s contact us page where you can find the customer service team’s email or a chatbot.

  1. Get the Time for Anywhere in the World

If you want to know the current time in another city, simply search for “time in [city]”. If you want to know the time difference between two cities, search for “[city] to [city] time”. Google will provide you with the current time and the time difference between the two cities.

  1. Get the Current Weather or a Weather Forecast

Whether you’re planning your outfit for the day or preparing for an upcoming trip, knowing the weather forecast is essential. Google makes it easy to get the current weather or a week-long forecast. Simply search for “weather” to get your location’s current temperature and weather conditions. If you’re interested in the forecast for a specific city, search for “weather [location]”.

  1. Find Out When the Sun Will Rise and Set

If you’re an early riser or a night owl, you might want to know when the sun will rise or set. Google can provide this information as well. Simply search for “sunrise” or “sunset” to get the time of day the sun will rise or set in your area. If you want the sunrise and sunset times for a different city, simply add the city name to your search.

  1. Find Your IP Address

If you need to know your IP address, Google can help. Just search for “what’s my IP address”, and Google will reveal your public IP address.

  1. Find Your Android Phone

If you’ve misplaced your Android phone, don’t panic. Google can help you locate it. Simply search for “find my phone” in the search bar, and click on “Find My Device – Google” in the search results. This will allow you to locate your phone on a map or make it ring. If you believe your phone has been lost or stolen, you can also secure your device or erase all content from it directly from Google.

  1. Set a Timer or Stopwatch

Need a timer or stopwatch? Google has you covered. Simply enter “set timer for [amount of time]” to set a timer. For example, if you want to set a timer for 10 minutes, search for “set timer for 10 minutes”. You can also enter “stopwatch” to run a stopwatch.

  1. Filter Google Search Results by Type of Information

At the top of every Google Search results page, you’ll find different tabs that allow you to refine your search by category. These categories include All, Images, Videos, News, Books, Maps, Shopping, Flights, and Finance. Clicking on any of these tabs will filter the search results to show only the type of information you’re interested in. For example, if you’re looking for cat GIFs, you can click on the Images tab to view cat GIFs, or the Videos tab to watch cat videos.

  1. Filter Google Search Results by Publish Date

If you’re looking for information that was published or updated within a specific timeframe, Google makes it easy to filter your search results. Just below the search bar on the search results page, click on “Tools”. This will populate two additional drop-down features: “Any time” and “All results”. Click on “Any time” to filter the results by when the content was published or updated. This is useful if you want to find the most recent information on a topic or if you’re looking for historical information.

  1. Filter Google Search Results by Image Type

If you’re using the Images tab of Google Search to find images, you can further refine your results by using the “Tools” feature. Click on “Tools” below the search bar to reveal additional filters. Here, you can filter the results by image size, colour, usage rights, type (clip art, line drawing, or GIF), and time (date published). This is useful if you’re looking for a specific type of image or need to find images with certain usage rights.

  1. Filter Google Search Video Results by Duration and Quality

When searching for videos on Google, you can use the “Tools” feature to filter the results by video duration and quality. Click on “Tools” below the search bar to access the filters. From here, you can choose to filter the results by video duration, video quality, publish date, source, and closed captioning. This is useful if you’re looking for high-quality videos or videos with closed captioning.

  1. Only Show Google Search Results from a Specific Website

If you want to find results that are specific to a particular website, you can use the “site:” search operator. Simply add “site:[website address]” before your search term. For example, if you want to find blog posts on Zapier about the best Kanban apps, you can search for “site:zapier.com best Kanban apps”. This will show you only blog posts from the Zapier website that are about Kanban apps. This is a helpful trick when you’re looking for information on a specific website or when you can’t find what you’re looking for on a particular website.

  1. Get International Search Results

By default, Google Search tailors the results to the country Google thinks you’re in based on your IP address. If you want to get results from other countries regardless of your location, you can visit google.com/ncr. NCR stands for “no country redirect”. Bookmark this page for future use if you frequently need to access international search results.

  1. Drag and Drop a URL to Bookmark a Tab

If you want to quickly save a webpage to your bookmarks bar or a specific folder in your bookmarks, you can do so by highlighting the URL and then dragging and dropping it to the desired position or folder.

  1. Search for Sites That Use Specific TLDs

You can also perform a country-specific search using the “site:” search operator along with the top-level domain (TLD) for that country. For example, if you want to find naan recipes only from sites in India, you can search for “naan recipes site:.in”. This will show you only recipes from sites with the .in TLD, which is the TLD for India. This trick can also be used to search for other types of domains, such as government sites (.gov), education sites (.edu), and organisation domains (.org).

  1. Find Only Exact-Match Search Results

If you’re looking for results that use a very specific phrase, you can use quotation marks to indicate that you only want to see results that match that exact phrase. Simply surround your search term in quotation marks. For example, if you’re trying to determine if something is plagiarised, you can pick a unique sentence from the text and search for it in quotation marks. This will show you if any exact matches appear in the search results. Quotation marks are also useful if you’re trying to find the original source of a statistic or quote.

  1. Exclude Specific Sites or Words from Google Search Results

If you want to exclude specific sites or words from your search results, you can use the hyphen (-) search operator. Simply add a hyphen before the site or word you want to exclude. For example, if you’re looking for remote marketing jobs but don’t want to see results from Upwork, you can search for “remote marketing jobs -Upwork”. This will exclude any results that include the word “Upwork”. This is a useful trick when you want to narrow down your search results or exclude certain websites.

  1. Use Google’s Advanced Search Pages

If you don’t want to remember all the search operators, you can use Google’s Advanced Search pages to refine your search results. Google has advanced search pages for general searches, images, and videos. These pages allow you to specify criteria such as language, region, last update, site or domain, and more. You can access these advanced search pages by visiting the following URLs:

  • General Search: https://www.google.com/advanced_search
  • Images: https://www.google.com/advanced_image_search
  • Videos: https://www.google.com/advanced_video_search
  • Use Ridiculously Long Search Queries

When you’re searching for something very specific that may not be commonly searched for, using a long-winded search term can yield better results. The more information you give Google, the more likely it is to find results that contain the information you’re looking for. For example, instead of searching for “Amazon Alexa privacy concerns”, you could search for “Can Amazon hear everything you’re saying on Alexa?”. This longer search query is more likely to give you the specific information you’re looking for.

  1. Conduct a Reverse Image Search

If you have an image and want to find out more about it or find similar images, you can use Google’s reverse image search. Simply visit Google Image Search, click on the camera icon (Search by image), and either upload the image file or paste the URL of the image. Google will then search for similar images and provide you with relevant results.

Reverse image search is useful for identifying objects, finding the original source of an image, or checking if other sites are using your images without permission.

  1. Pick Up Where You Left Off in Your Search History

If you’ve been interrupted while searching and want to resume your search later, Google Journeys can help. Google Journeys allows you to resume your searches based on topics. When you enter a word or phrase related to your previous search journey, Google will suggest resuming your journey based on your search history. Simply click on “Resume your journey” to see a list of relevant activities in your Chrome history.

To access your journey list directly, go to the Chrome menu bar, click on “History”, then click on “Show Full History”. From there, click on “Journeys” and enter your search term in the search bar. You can also remove search items from your journey or turn off the Journeys feature.

  1. View Similar Websites

If you’re exploring a website and want to find similar sites, Google can help. Click on the three dots next to the URL of any search result, and then click on “Similar” in the “About this result” window. This will take you to a new Google search that shows related sites.

Note that not all websites will have the option to display similar pages.

  1. View Cached Pages

If a webpage is down or unavailable, you can still access its content by viewing a cached version. A cached version is a snapshot of the page as it appeared the last time Google’s robots visited the site. To view a cached page, click on the three dots next to the URL of any search result, and then click on “Cached”. You can also use the “cache:” search operator followed by the website address to directly access the cached version of a page.

  1. Create Keyboard Shortcuts in Google Chrome for Frequently Used Searches

If you frequently search for the same thing, you can create keyboard shortcuts in Google Chrome to trigger those searches with just a few keystrokes. This can save you time and make your searches more efficient. To create a keyboard shortcut, go to Chrome’s Settings, click on “Search engine”, then click on “Manage search engines and site search”. In the “Site search” section, click on “Add” and fill in the necessary fields. Once you’ve created your shortcut, you can simply type it into Chrome’s omnibox and hit Enter/Return to perform the search.


Google is a powerful search engine that can provide answers to nearly any question. By mastering these 36 web search techniques, you can unlock Google’s full potential and find exactly what you’re looking for. From quick calculations to advanced filters, Google offers a wide range of tools to help you navigate the vast amount of information available online. So the next time you need to find something, put these techniques to use and let Google do the heavy lifting.

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