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Google Tips and Tricks
Google is a powerful searching tool - but most users only use the search strategy of 'filling in the white blank' provided. Here's some ways to search that you might not know about:
Looking for weather information? Type in [Weather 68144] or [Weather Omaha].
How about a movie? Type in [Movie 68144] to find local movie listings.
Instead of opening Google Maps, users can type any address into Google's main search bar. Google displays a map of the location at the top of the search results list.
Google Maps displays four icons above its "Get Directions" bar. Clicking each one pulls up either driving, public transit, walking, or biking directions. The different routes are plotted on the map and change depending on which for of transportation the user wants to use.
You can enter the tracking number for a UPS, Fedex or USPS package directly into Google to get a direct link to the tracking information.
Searching your favorite artist's name will not only return search results, such as song lyrics, photos, and news, but also lets you listen to their songs.
What time is it? You can find the time of any city in the world by typing Time and the city's name. [London: Time].
Use Google to do math. Enter a calculation as you would into your computer's calculator (i.e.* corresponds to multiply, / to divide, etc.). You can do relatively complex calculations.
Google can convert units of measurement between the U.S. and metric systems, or between larger and smaller units of measurement. For example, typing "50 miles in kilometers" into the search bar yields the number of kilometers at the top of the results page. Entering "6 oz in pounds" or 2 inches to foot" will tell you the quantity in pounds and feet, respectively.
Trying to make an out of state call? Wondering who called you? Just type in any 3-digit area code to see where in the country it's located. Typing in "623" for example returns "areas north and west of Phoenix."
Currency conversion is easy and up-to-date with Google. Just type in the two currencies you wish to convert (i.e. "100 dollars in Canadian dollars.) [100 US Dollars in Canadian Dollars].
When a user enters a professional sports team's name as a search term, Google displays the team's statistics at the top of the results page. Typing "Denver Broncos" for instance will produce the team's current record, the result of their last game, and the opponent and date of their next game.
Google displays current market data for any stock when its ticker symbol is entered into the search bar. For example, "AAPL" will bring up information on its share price, changes, in price, and more.
Get flight information by typing in your airline and flight number. [AA 210].
Refine That Search
Using "~" (tilde) before a search term yields results with related terms. For instance, searching ~space returns sites and documents with the words space, satellite, NASA and hosting.
Search for phrases in double quotes will find pages containing the exact phrase you searched for. For example: 'Four score and seven years ago."
Google News Archive Search gives results for past events. Narrow your search by using the Timeline.
Many Google search results pages display the word Cached next to some URLs. Click on Cached to view Google's indexed version of the particular website. Google's cache is constantly updated and can be particularly helpful if the site's content becomes unavailable. The page displayed is just a screen grab that functions as a backup. Google displays a note at the top of the cached page displaying the time the page was indexed and a reminder that the real page may be different.
If you want to limit your search to just one site, Google will help you out. Enter your query, followed by "site: www.websitename.com"
and click enter. You'll see only results from that website. [Obama site: www.cnn.com].
Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, featured on Google's home page since 1998, sidesteps the Googld results page and takes the user directly to the website of the first search result.
Use Google's X..Y modifier to return only search results within a certain numerical range. (Hint: it is especially useful for date ranges and prices.) [US Presidents 1970..1980].
At the bottom of every search results page Google provides a "search help" link. The Help Center has lots of articles designed to improve your search skills.
Google can search for specific file types such as Power Points or Spread Sheets. Example [American History ppt].
Use the 'define' operator as a fact-checker, not just a dictionary. Example: When searching for [indentation upper lip] the word 'philtrum' appears a lot. When back-searching, [define: philtrum] the finding is confirmed.
Use keywords carefully. Use words that will probably be on the page you are looking for.
[pump up tire] beats [tire pumping]
[headache] beats [my head hurts].
Use the Advanced Search feature to tease out sites that are from other countries. For a list of country domains, try
Internet Assigned Numbers Authority for a comprehensive list.
To search for topics within specific domains (such as US government sites [.gov], education sites [.edu], and state sites [state.ne.us]), use the google “site:” command.
[“global warming” site:gov
Google provides translation services back and forth from over 45 languages. They are approximate, but very helpful. Cut and paste text OR upload a document OR enter a website URL.
Beyond the Rectangle Options
Your best search might be an Image search or a News search.
--search Images for [Resumes]
--search News Archives for
--search Videso for [Wright Brothers]
The Wonder Wheel (an option on the left column) gives visual map of related searches. Try it with a word that has many meanings like [Lincoln].
Use the Timeline option to clarify historical searches. [Woodrow Wilson].
Image searches can refined. Searches can be made by color. Looking for a Yellow Jeep? Type in [Jeep], select the desired color - and wow - an amazing amount of yellow jeeps appear. Also you can refine image results according to type, size, file types, usage rights - and more - by selecting 'Advanced Search' under the rectangle.
is a search tool that helps you quickly build a collection of facts from the web for any topic you specify.
--facts about your topic are organized into a table of items attributes
--customize these squares to see just the items and attributes you're interested in
--see the websites that served as sources for the information in your square
--share and save squares with others.
Use Street View in Google Maps to answer questions that can't be answered with conventional maps. (What does the entrance look like? On which side of the street do people park?) To use Street View drag the little yellow sick figure onto the street you'd like to view.
Information for Educators
--prepared lesson plans on how to search like an expert and how to spot reliable sites (developed with help from librarians!)
--posters and printable info for your classroom and library
Searching By Reading Level
Sometimes you may want to limit your search results to a specific reading level. For instance, a middle school teacher looking for content for her students or a second-language learner might want web pages written at a basic reading level. A scientist searching for the latest findings from the experts may want to limit results to those at advanced reading levels.
To limit your search results to a specific reading level, follow these steps:
On the search results page, click
below the search box.
Next to "Reading level" within the "Need more tools" section, select your desired reading level (basic, intermediate, or advanced) or choose to show all results annotated with reading levels.
at the bottom of the page.
At any time, you can click the
in the right corner of the blue bar beneath the search box to go back to seeing all results.
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"