Here are some previous tips in our last post.

Keep it simple

Now we’re getting into the general tips. Google search knows how to search for a lot of things. What this means is you don’t need to be too specific. If you need a pizza place nearby, use this to search.

Bukkas nearby

Google search will grab your location and deliver a variety of results about the bukkas that are near you.

Gradually add search terms

There will come a time when Google search doesn’t shovel out the results you expect. In this instance, keeping it simple may not be the best option.

As Google itself suggests, the best method is to start with something simple then gradually get more complicated. See the example below:

First try: undergrad scholarships
Second try: apply for undergrad scholarships
Third try: how to apply for a undergrad scholarships

This will gradually refine the search to bring you fewer, more targeted terms. The reason you don’t go straight from the first try to the third try is because you may miss what you’re looking for by skipping the second step.

Millions of websites phrase the same information in a number of different ways; using this technique lets you search as many of them as possible to find the best info.

Use words that websites would use

This is a very important one. When people use Google search to hunt the web, they generally search for things using the same language that they would use for speaking.

Unfortunately, websites don’t say things the way people do; instead, they try to use language that sounds professional. Let’s look at some examples:

“I have a flat tire” could be replaced by “repair a flat tire.”
“My head hurts” could be replaced by “headache relief.”

The list goes on and on. When searching, try to use terminology you would find on a professional website. This will help you get more reliable results.

Use important words only

The way Google search works is to take what you search for and match it with keywords in online content.

When you search for too many words, it may limit your results. That means it may actually take you longer to find what you’re looking for. Thus, it is apropos to use only the important words when searching for something. Let’s see an example:

Don’t use: Where can I find a Bukka kitchen that delivers.
Instead try: Bukka kitchen nearby.
Or: Bukka kitchens near me.

Doing this can help Google find what you need without all the clutter. So remember, keep it simple and use important words only.

Google search has shortcuts

A number of commands can be entered to give you instantaneous results.

Like the math example in the previous post, Google can immediately give you the information you need that is displayed right at the top of the search results. This can save time and effort so you don’t have to click a bunch of bothersome links.

Here are a few examples of some commands you can enter into Google:

Weather *zip code* – This will show you the weather in the given zip code. You can also use town and city names instead of area codes, but it may not be as accurate if there are multiple area codes in the city.
What is *celebrity name* Bacon Number – This is a fun little one that will tell you how many connections any given celebrity has to famed actor Kevin Bacon. The popular joke, Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, is that no actor is more than 6 connections away from Kevin Bacon. Mark Zuckerberg has a Bacon Number of 3.
The math example posted in the previous post is another one.
What is the definition of *word* or Define: *word* – This will display the definition of a word.
Time *place* – This will display the time in whatever place you type in.
You can check any stock by typing its ticker name into Google. If you search for GOOG, it will check the stock prices for Google.

These quick commands can take a web search that is usually multiple clicks and condense it into a single search. This is very helpful for information you need repeatedly.

Spelling doesn’t necessarily matter

Google search has gotten a lot smarter over the years. These days, you don’t even need to spell words correctly.

As long as it’s pretty close, Google can usually figure out what it means. Here are some examples:

If you search “Nver Gna Gve Yo Up” Google will automatically assume you mean to search for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” If by chance your misspelling was intentional, Google gives you the option to search for the misspelled term instead.

This trick is great if you happen to forget how to spell something or are not altogether sure how something is spelled.

It can also be helpful when searching for obscure words. This applies to capitalization and grammar as well.

Use descriptive words

Pretty much everything can be described in multiple ways. Take our namesake, the “life hack.” The terminology “hack” refers to a computer programmer breaking security on a network or system. However, when used in conjunction with the word “life”, it alters the meaning to tips and tricks people can use to improve their lives.

If you have trouble finding what you’re searching for, keep in mind that people may search or define what you need in a different way than you do.

You may search “How to install drivers in Ubunut?”
When you really mean “Troubleshoot driver problems Ubuntu.”

There really isn’t a good specific example for this one. If you search for something and you can’t find an answer, try asking the same question using different words and see if that helps the results.

Find a specific file

An often forgotten feature of Google search is the ability to search for a specific file or file type. This can be infinitely useful if you need a specific PDF or PowerPoint file that you previously viewed or need to use for another project. The syntax is quite simple:

*Search term here* filetype:pdf

In the above example, you simply replace the search term with whatever you’re searching for. Then use the filetype command and enter the extension of any file type you can think of.

This can mostly be useful for scholarly purposes, but business presentations and other assorted presentations can benefit from this kind of search as well.

Money and unit conversions

Google search can quickly and accurately convert both measurement units and currency value. There are a variety of uses for this, like checking to see the conversion rate between two currencies.

If you happen to be a math student, you can use it to convert from feet to meters or from ounces to liters. Here’s how to do it:

miles to km – This will convert miles to kilometers. You can put numbers in front to convert a certain number. Like “10 miles to km” will show you how many kilometers are in 10 miles.
USD to British Pound Sterling – This will convert a US dollar to British pounds. Like the measurements above, you can add numbers to find exact conversions for a certain amount of money.

It’s true that this tip is geared toward math students and international business people. However, you’d be surprised how often these tips are used by regular people.

Track your packages

Our last trick is to use Google search to find out where your packages are. You can enter any UPS, USPS, or Fedex tracking number directly into the Google search bar, and it’ll show you the tracking information about your package.

This is much easier than going to the specific sites, waiting for them to load, then searching for your packages there.

No examples are really needed for this one. Just type your tracking number in and see where your package is.

Final thoughts?

Google search is a very powerful search tool. Using the tips outlined above, you can find anything and everything you could ever need on the World Wide Web; there is a way to make Google search work for you.