Google expert tips: How to find anything fast

The tips and tricks below will help you improve the precision of the search results Google provides--and use far fewer keystrokes to get them.

The nice people at Google have invented multiple ways to make their core product --Internet search--even better. The tips and tricks below will help you improve the precision of the search results Google provides--and use far fewer keystrokes to get them.

Get to know search operators: Google made its name by delivering powerful search results in response to queries of any level of sophistication, but learning to use Google's search operators can really hone your Google-fu. The Google Help Cheat Sheet rounds up some of the finest, such as define: (for quick dictionary lookups), site: (to return results from a specific Web site), and OR (as in 'pc OR world').

Convert nearly any measurement: Aside from working as a simple calculator, Google is also a great tool for converting units of measure. Need to know how many ounces are in a cup? Enter ounces in a cup in Google. Or try something exotic, like how many furlongs are in a league. Google can handle it.

Narrow down your results: Usually you can find what you're looking for on the first page of Google results, but if you need something very specific--say, a page that was published in the last 24 hours--click the new Show Options link above your search results. Among other features available is the interactive Wonder Wheel, a spidering graphical representation of queries related to yours.

Navigate results from your keyboard: Google's Experimental Search page is full of fun experiments from the search giant. One of the best is the Keyboard shortcuts experiment, which adds Gmail-like keyboard shortcuts to Google search results; for example, pressing 'j' or 'k' moves you up or down, respectively, between results.

Find a killer desktop wallpaper: Google Image Search is a familiar go-to resource for users seeking new wallpaper, but finding wallpaper that fits your desktop is much easier than you may realize. Go to the Google Advanced Image Search page, and click Use my desktop size link to automatically search for images that exactly fit your desktop dimensions.

Square your results: If you're a hardcore data nerd, give Google Squared a try. This new search tool returns results as structured data in a spreadsheet to help you get a bird's-eye view of the data contained in the results. Search for 'DSLR cameras', for example, to compare and contrast prices and resolutions for digital SLRs.

Developer's Choice: Quick Local Searches

"I'm really happy with how easy it is to use local search on Google. Just search for the kind of store you want--restaurants, for example. We guess your location, and show restaurants near you. It's one of my favorite of our lesser known search tips: www.google.com/landing/searchtips."

--Jim Muller, Google software engineer

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Googlesearch engines

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Adam Pash

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?