Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

181 Google Tricks That Will Save You Time

Posted: August 20, 2012 in Google

100+ Google Tricks That Will Save You Time in School. But in nearly three years, Google has developed new products, discontinued a few, and offered new features, and more people have found great ways to save time with Google. So we’ve gone and found even more great tips for saving time with Google, and this time around, the list has made it all the way to 181 different tricks. Explore our collection of tricks to find new, faster ways to search, read email, manage your time, and more.

Search Tricks

Google is so much more than a search engine. It’s a reference book, calculator, even a weather forecaster. Using these tricks, you can find helpful information quickly, plus get to the right links faster.

  1. Feel lucky Access the page that Google thinks is the most relevant for your search with the “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature. Chances are, you’ll find a great resource without having to look any further.
  2. Find public data Google offers stores of public data, right in search results. For population and employment rates, just search for “population” or “unemployment rate” plus the state or county.
  3. Find your web history Find websites you’ve visited and even search your own online history with Google’s Web History.
  4. Search within a site Found a site that’s full of great stuff? Narrow down your results within the site by searching for (search query) site (domain).
  5. Search for exact phrases Put quotation marks around “any word” to find an exact phrase more efficiently.
  6. Shorten your search phrases Chances are, you don’t need to type a whole lot to find what you’re looking for. Try shortening your searches to just a few words.
  7. Check the weather in a flash Need to know if rain is going to hold you up on the way to class? Just type “weather” plus the city or zip code, and Google will pop up a forecast for you.
  8. Be descriptive Instead of searching for “celebrity sounds,” which could be a variety of different sounds, look for “celebrity ringtones,” which is much more specific.
  9. Find the file type you’re looking for Search for PDF, doc, even Power Point files by adding a filetype pdf modifier to your search string.
  10. Forget about cases Google’s search isn’t case sensitive, so search for new york times if you’re looking forThe New York Times.
  11. Don’t worry about punctuation, either Search doesn’t pay attention to punctuation and special characters, so don’t bother using them.
  12. Turn Google into a calculator Did you know that Google has a built-in calculator function? Just enter a calculation into the search box, and you’ll get the answer!
  13. Google is a dictionary and thesaurus, too Get definitions by entering “define” before your search term, and discover synonyms by adding a tilde (~), as in, ~cats.
  14. Quickly discover movies and movie showtimes To find movie reviews, showings, and theaters before you head out with friends, just type “movies” plus your zip code for the best results.
  15. Check the time around the world Chatting with your video penpal in Japan? Find out what time it is by searching for “time Japan.”
  16. Get rid of the stuff you don’t want If you keep getting irrelevant results for a certain term, you can exclude words just by placing a minus sign in front of them. So if you want to know about wombats but not necessarily blind wombats, you’d search for wombats -”blind wombat.”
  17. Search with Goggles Use your mobile phone’s camera to search for an item instead of typing words.
  18. Search by voice, too Search the web with speech by tapping the microphone button on your Google search box.
  19. Discover what you don’t know Google can help you fill in the blank with a simple asterisk (*). You can search for “Isaac Newton discovered *,” and Google will complete your sentence.
  20. Check your spelling If you’re not sure how to spell a word, just type your best guess into Google. If you’re wrong, Google will pop up with an alternative, asking, “Did you mean  (correct spelling)?”
  21. Keep finding great sources If you like what you see on a particular website, and would like to find more, just do a related search on Google. For example, “related” will direct you to more news sites like CNN.
  22. Discover people Thanks to Google Plus, Google offers people profiles for a surprising amount of individuals. Get the quick low-down on your classmates, professors, and even important public figures by simply Googling a person’s name.
  23. Check out patents If you need to research a patent for school (or your latest invention), just plug in the number, plus the word “patent” into Google to get information about it.
  24. Research health conditions, medications, and even save a life Type any common symptom or disease into Google, and you’ll find an expert summary. Same thing for most generic and brand name prescriptions. Search for “poison control,” “suicide prevention,” and “flu,” and you’ll be directed to the appropriate phone number or even nearby locations that can help.
  25. Find food, stores, and more fast Find local businesses, like restaurants, quickly just by entering what you’re looking for plus your zip code. For example, you can find pizza joints in the Beverly Hills area by searching for “pizza 90210.”
  26. Quit stalking the FedEx guy You can track packages from USPS, FedEx, and UPS just by typing your tracking number directly into Google.
  27. Convert units of measure Calculate temperature, weight, and more just by using Google Search.
  28. Search by timeline With “view timeline” you can get a timeline for any topic you’re researching.
  29. Use Google’s cache to get around blocked sites Just by using “cache website address,” you can get around most blocked sites.
  30. Take advantage of image search Find an image for your search with Google’s Image Search.
  31. Find results on a specific kind of site To find results only from authoritative sites like .edu, .gov, or .org, add “site edu” to your search term.
  32. Check the time Find out the local time just by entering “what time is it” into Google.
  33. Search within a url Discover topics, years, and more within a url just by using “inurl .”
  34. Refine your search with options Drill down to what you’re really looking for with Show Options.
  35. Find a face Find only images with faces by using “&imgtype=face” in your search query.


Google Specifically for Education


With tools like Google Earth, Scholar, News, and iGoogle, there are lots of great ways to learn more and save time with Google.

  1. Google Scholar Use Google Scholar to get hooked up with scholarly literature, including results from academic publishers, journals, and peer-reviewed papers.
  2. Check out the sky Get a lesson in meteorology with Google Earth’s Sky feature.
  3. Set up an iGoogle page Keep everything handy and easy to access with an iGoogle page full of your most relevant news stories, calendar, and Google Reader blogs.
  4. Google News Find news sources around the world in Google’s incredible news resource.
  5. Make your own search engine Using the Google Custom Search Engine, you can create a search engine that specifically caters to your research needs.
  6. Set up a study group in Google Groups Communicate and collaborate with classmates and more in Google Groups, or better yet, start your own G+ Hangout.
  7. Google Code University Learn more about computer science by checking out Creative Commons-licensed content in this Google site.
  8. Study the oceans In Google Earth, you can view not just the sky, but the ocean floor’s surface and even 3D shipwrecks.
  9. Check out Knol for expert input Explore Knol to find expert knowledge on a variety of different topics.


Google Plus


A great new service for students to take advantage of, Google Plus has plenty of ways to get connected and save time.

  1. Create Hangouts to chat with study buddies Collaborate with group project members and study groups by setting up a video chat Google+ Hangout.
  2. Do a university search Find information within your university, thanks to Google Plus’ feature that collects university affiliation.
  3. Get a constantly updated research stream with Sparks Set up Sparks for a search engine that automatically finds information about the stuff you’re interested in.


Google Docs


We’re big fans of Google Docs’ ability to streamline word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Here are plenty of ways to take things to the next level and save time.

  1. Set up repeated text If you frequently write the same phrase over and over again, set up automatic substitution in your Google Docs preferences.
  2. Store your documents in the cloud With Google Docs, it’s easy to keep your documents in the cloud and access them wherever you are  your dorm, mom and dad’s house, even the school library.
  3. Save Gmail attachments to Docs Keep Gmail attachments organized in the cloud by saving them to your Google Docs account.
  4. Spell check in bulk Google Docs checks your spelling as you type, but if you prefer to do it all at once, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-; to go to the next misspelling, and Ctrl-[ to back up.
  5. Create your own templates If you have a document that you’d like to use over and over again, just make your own template in Google Docs.
  6. Take advantage of templates Find templates for your resume, budget, chores, study schedule, and more in Google Docs templates.
  7. Open things up a bit Compact your Google Docs controls to get more writing real estate by pressing Ctrl-Shift-F inside a document, reducing the menu bar size.
  8. Set up simple forms, surveys, or polls Need a survey for a research project? Set one up in Google Docs to gather info.
  9. Collaborate and get alerted to changes Google Docs is great for collaboration with classmates, and it’s also useful for setting up notifications to find out when they’ve made changes.
  10. But remember that you can turn off notifications Getting alerts is great, but one too many can become distracting. Change your notification settings if it’s driving you nuts.
  11. Translate documents with Google Docs If you’ve downloaded a foreign language journal article, get it translated into another language with Google Docs.
  12. Organize into collections Use Google Docs enough, and you’ll have quite a collection of documents to go through. Put them into neat categories by setting up collections, and move documents to the appropriate folder.
  13. Add video to your presentation Give your Google Docs a multimedia boost by adding video.
  14. Add a school year calendar Follow these instructions to create a simple school year calendar in Google Docs.
  15. Use spreadsheets to make graphs Enter data into a spreadsheet, and then use that data to create a pie, bar, line, or scatter graph.
  16. Open a new document lightning fast Use simple shortcuts to open up new documents quickly.
  17. Save as you go Use the right click to save-as option, and you can quickly save a document in Google Docs.
  18. Send invitations in Google Docs Whether it’s for a party or a study group, you can send invitations using Google Docs.



The ubiquitous Gmail has lots of great tricks and options that student time-savers can take advantage of.

  1. Better Gmail Speed through your Gmail inbox by using this add-on that fixes some of the problems that can slow you down in Gmail, like customizing your inbox count display, messages, sidebar, and more.
  2. Gmail Manager Get updated on multiple Gmail accounts at once with this add-on that lets you check all of your Gmail accounts.
  3. Turn on keyboard shortcuts Gmail offers keyboard shortcuts like letter navigation, single-stroke actions, and more that can shave time off each action you do in Gmail.
  4. Undo Send If you accidentally sent a message a bit too fast, undo your send, and go back to fix a goof or add an attachment without having to send a brand new email.
  5. Add gadgets to Gmail You can add Calendar and Docs to your Gmail sidebar, helping you get quick access to your schedule and documents.
  6. Use stars to note special messages Mark messages with stars and superstars to remember that they are important.
  7. Mute messages Use Google Smart Mute to turn off messages that you’ve been added to on CC.
  8. Use advanced search operators Narrow down who you’re finding emails from with “from ” and “to ,” search by “subject ,” “has attachment,” and more with advanced search operators.
  9. Filter email with personalized email addresses Add a plus sign, periods, and other characters to create variations of your email address, and filter your inbox based on these addresses.
  10. Get connected faster with SMS in Chat Send a quick SMS text to your contacts through Gmail’s Chat if you really need to get connected instantly.
  11. Use Drafts as notes Keep handy notes in your Gmail Drafts folder by composing a new message and saving it as a draft.
  12. Organize with labels Get your email organized with labels to quickly scan your inbox for what you’re looking for, and move messages to them to clean up your inbox.
  13. Identify which messages were sent just to you Find out if an email was directly addressed to you by looking for personal level indicator arrows.
  14. Set up reminder keywords If you know you’ll need to access an important email later, but might not remember how to find it, forward it to yourself, adding a memorable keyword to the message that you can search for later.
  15. Send one-liners with (EOM) For messages where the subject is the entire message, Gmail will usually pop up and ask you if you want to ask body text. Bypass this message by adding (EOM) to the end of your subject.
  16. Search your mail Instead of keeping your mail super organized, just use the Gmail search function.
  17. Archive your messages Keep your inbox tidy, and old important emails still accessible by search by archiving messages.
  18. Sign out remotely Oops! Left Gmail on at the computer lab? Sign out remotely by clicking on Details at the bottom of your Inbox.
  19. Sort email accounts If you use Gmail to receive messages from both your personal account and school account, separate them into Multiple Inboxes to keep everything clear.
  20. Report spam vigilantly Rid your inbox, and the world, of spam by reporting emails as spam.
  21. Keep important files handy in Gmail Always have quick access to key files by emailing them to yourself in Gmail.
  22. Turn emails into tasks Got an emailed assignment from your professor? Convert emails into tasks, and even access them on your mobile phone.
  23. Set up filters Control the flow of incoming mail by setting up filters that will automatically label, archive, delete, forward, and more.
  24. Preview attachments If you’re not ready to download an attachment yet, just preview the attached document to see what it’s all about.
  25. Always remember to attach files Sign up for Labs to use the Forgotten Attachment Detector, and get notified when you mention attachments in the body of your message, but don’t actually have anything attached.
  26. Add multiple attachments at once Use Control, Shift, or Cmd to select more than one file to attach to your message.
  27. Use https Protect your Gmail with https, even when you’re using Gmail in public places like a coffee shop or the school library.
  28. Add Calendar and Docs Make Calendar and Docs a part of your Gmail page by adding them as boxes.
  29. Set up a “waiting for response” label Never lose emails that need following up by setting up a label for messages that you’re waiting on a response for.
  30. Set up Canned Responses With Canned Responses, you can save email templates for common replies that you use over and over.


Google Calendar


Using Google Calendar is the first step to saving time and staying on-task. Here are many more ways that you can keep the productivity train rolling with Calendar.

  1. Take advantage of hotkeys Navigate your keyboard by using hotkeys, like t to jump to today’s date, or q for a quick add.
  2. Sync your calendar Make sure that your calendar is the same on Outlook, your iPhone and Google Calendar on the web by using Google Calendar Sync.
  3. Create mini calendars Set up multiple calendars with custom colors to manage different calendars for different purposes, like homework vs. your social life.
  4. Set up notifications Get a daily agenda mailed to you, as well as reminders and updates, so you can manage your calendar right from your email.
  5. Add your Remember the Milk tasks Use RTM’s add-on to add your tasks to Google Calendar.
  6. Add appointments quickly Be specific, adding the time and date when you type in new appointments, and Google Calendar will automatically populate the fields you specify in its appointment form.
  7. Get texts from your calendar Set up access to Google Calendar on your mobile phone, and get your day’s agenda by texting “day” to 48368.
  8. Get Synced in iCal and Sunbird Sync your calendar with Apple iCal or Mozilla Sunbird.
  9. Customize your reminders Choose which reminders work best for you  email, SMS, or pop-up.
  10. Set up weekly repeats Repeat events for M/W/F or T/Th classes and other events to block out the time on your calendar each week.
  11. Add events in Gmail Click “add to calendar” to add events to your Google Calendar right from Gmail.
  12. Invite others to an event Just add email addresses under Guests within any event to remind others of an appointment.


Google Mobile


With these tricks, you can fit education in anywhere.

  1. Sync your calendar Sync your Google Calendar, Gmail, and more to your phone so that you can stay productive on the go.
  2. Check email on the go Use Gmail for mobile to stay connected with your phone.
  3. Read your blog subscriptions Access Google Reader on your phone to stay on top of your blog subscriptions.
  4. Consolidate your phone numbers, even your cell phone With Google Voice, you can consolidate your dorm, apartment, and cell phone numbers into one.
  5. Find your friends Discover where your friends are hanging out with Google Latitudes.
  6. Get answers from Google SMS Find a great place to eat, translate words, and more just by texting Google (466453).
  7. Check in with iGoogle Get a mobile-optimized version of iGoogle on your phone.
  8. Access your Google Docs, too Read all of your Google Docs items on your phone.
  9. Keep a to-do list with Google Tasks Google Tasks makes it easy to keep and access a to-do list right on your phone.
  10. Always know where you are With Google Maps, you can take advantage of GPS and more to be sure that you never get lost.
  11. Find out anything, anywhere Use Google Search on your mobile phone to find out information wherever you are.
  12. Read books on your phone Access Google Books on your phone to read on the go.
  13. Post to Blogger Use your mobile phone to update any Blogger blog.


Google Chrome Tips and Extensions


With this awesome Google browser, you can maximize your time using tricks, extensions, and really cool ideas.

  1. Snippy You can snip out web content and save it for later in Google Docs thanks to Snippy.
  2. Set your startup pages If you rush to Gmail, Facebook, and specific research sites on startup, change your settings to open them up automatically each time you start Chrome.
  3. Stay Focusd Use this extension to help curb your Facebook addiction, blocking out websites that you tend to waste time on.
  4. Note Anywhere Use Note Anywhere to scribble notes anywhere online, even Wikipedia.
  5. Web2PDFConverter PDFs are so prevalent in higher education, so keep this converter handy in case you need to save and distribute a web page as a PDF.
  6. Read Later Fast Save research links and check them out later with the Read Later Fast Chrome extension.
  7. RemindMe Stay on task with RemindMe, a great app for getting reminders, tasks, and more.
  8. GradeGuru Citation Manager Organize your references and citation online using GradeGuru’s Chrome extension.
  9. Session Manager Save a certain group of tabs open only for specific tasks, and keep them all handy and separate with the Session Manager extension for Google Chrome.
  10. myHomework Using this Chrome extension, your can organize projects, classes, and homework so that you remember all of your important assignments.
  11. Session Boddy Keep your session safe, no matter where you access Google Chrome with Session Buddy, an extension that saves your tabs to export and use later.
  12. Put your favorite sites on your desktop Create a shortcut on your desktop to see an icon for your favorite website.
  13. Auto Copy Make copying text just a tiny bit faster with this extension that automatically copies text to the clipboard when you select a block of it.
  14. Cacoo With Cacoo, you can create diagrams collaboratively, right in your Google Chrome browser.
  15. Google Mail Checker Keep an eye on your Gmail without having to manually check in throughout the day by using Google Mail Checker, an extension that will show your unread Gmail messages on Chrome.
  16. Split Screen This extension is especially helpful when you’re researching over a variety of different websites.
  17. Use Chrome’s Omnibox as a calculator Just like you can use Google Search as a calculator, you can do calculations in Chrome’s Omnibox.
  18. Desmos Graphing Calculator Make Google Chrome’s calculator even better with this graphing calculator extension.
  19. Copy Without Formatting Copy plain text using this Chrome extension, and you can avoid messing up your documents with pre-determined formatting.
  20. DayHiker Check your schedule, tasks, and even set an alarm clock with this calendar extension for Google Chrome.
  21. Set up AutoFill If you’re sick of typing your name, address, and phone number over and over again, set up your AutoFill option to fill it in for you.
  22. Brizzly If you’re going to check Facebook and Twitter when you’re supposed to be studying, at least keep things simple. Use Brizzly, a reader extension that streamlines your browsing and updating.
  23. Create a favicon bookmark bar Set up links on your bookmarks bar, and delete their names so that Chrome will simply display them by favicon, saving room and leaving more space for even more links.
  24. FastestChrome Supercharge your Chrome experience by installing FastestChrome, an extension that adds Wikipedia articles to your browser, finds definitions instantly, and makes searching more convenient.
  25. Sync your Chrome settings If you use Chrome on multiple computers, like the library, computer lab, and your dorm, you can keep your settings by syncing them to your Google account.
  26. TooManyTabs If you’re prone to opening way too many tabs in Chrome, use this app to organize them all into a manageable format.
  27. Control multiple tabs with Pin Tab Using a Pin Tab, you can minimize tabs into a small icon.
  28. Use Paste and Search and Paste and Go Use these features to save steps when searching and navigating.
  29. Reopen closed tabs Whoops! Fix an accidentally closed tab by pressing Ctrl+Shift+T.
  30. Keep things private Use incognito mode to operate without any history or cookies on your browser.
  31. Make use of the bookmarks manager Use Chrome’s built-in bookmarks manager to organize, rearrange, find, and add folders for your bookmarks.
  32. ChromePass Use ChromePass, and you can list all of your stored Chrome password information.
  33. Chrome Mailer With ChromeMailer, you can get support for the mailto  function on Google Chrome.
  34. Google Chrome Backup Back it up! Keep all of your bookmarks and personal data safe and secure with this tool.


Google Books


Access school books online, do your research, and save a trip to the library with these tricks and more.

  1. Save books as a PDF Take books that would normally be online-only and save them as a PDF so that you can read them anytime, anywhere.
  2. Find author and book information If you need quick info, like the author of a certain book, or when it was published, do a Google Books search to find detailed into on authors and titles.
  3. Read public domain books Search for classic books, then select “Books” in the left panel of your search results to find free copies of public domain books.
  4. Search the full text of books On Google Books, you can search the full text of thousands of books.
  5. Make your own library Add books to your shared library on Google Books to keep them organized for your classes or projects.
  6. Find books at your own library Check out links on Google Books that allow you to check the availability of titles in real life libraries.
  7. Check out Advanced Book Search Take things to the next level with detailed book search options.
  8. Find textbooks online Thanks to Google Books, you can even access selected textbooks online.
  9. Find magazine content In Advanced Book Search, you can find information in magazines, too.
  10. Check out the blog Find out the latest in the Google Books world with the Inside Google Books blog.
  11. Find supplements for your assigned texts Go to the next level, and find books in the subjects you’re studying in school.


Google Voice


Google Voice makes it easy to streamline your phone experience, and even eliminate a few pesky distractions.

  1. Use Google Voice as your phone number Avoid pesky solicitor phone calls and use voicemail transcription to take the time suck out of using your phone.
  2. Put voicemails in a special label Set up a label for all emails that come from
  3. Set up a “do not disturb” time Determine a time when you really need to get things done, set up “do not disturb” on Google Voice, and all your calls will go to voicemail.
  4. Block nuisance calls Kill productivity-busting sales calls by blocking them. Google Voice will set up a disconnection message for callers that you’ve blocked.
  5. Record calls If you’re doing research interviews, this is a really handy time saver. Use Google Voice to record calls, and you can go back to them later.


Handy Google Services and Apps


Here you’ll find even more ways to save time with Google, using services like Google SketchUp, Talk, and Translate.

  1. Install a search box on your browser Using Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, you can add a search box for Google onto your browser.
  2. Google Alerts Stay on top of news stories and research projects with Google Alerts, a service that will send you emails with new search results for your terms.
  3. Google SketchUp Draw 3D figures for free online using Google’s SketchUp service.
  4. Google Talk Chat with family, friends, classmates, and professors on your desktop and more with this service.
  5. Google Images With Google’s Image search, you can find loads of high-quality images.
  6. Google Translate Using Google Translate, you can get foreign words translated lightning fast.
  7. Google Finance Use Google Finance to stay on top of markets, news, and more.
  8. Google Toolbar With the Google Toolbar, you can get easy access to all sorts of Google tools right in your browser.
  9. Picasa Manage, edit, and share your photos online with this Google photo manager.
  10. Google Fusion Tables With Google’s Fusion Tables, you can share and discuss your data online.
  11. Blogger Using Blogger, you can create a project blog, share your experiences, and keep up with family and friends.

7 Clever Google Tricks Worth Knowing

Posted: August 20, 2012 in Google

Below I have compiled a list of 7 clever Google tricks that I believe everyone should be aware of.  Together I think they represent the apex of the grand possibilities associated with Google search manipulation tricks and hacks.  Although there are many others out there, these 7 tricks are my all-time favorite.  Enjoy yourself.

1.  Find the Face Behind the Result – This is a neat trick you can use on a Google Image search to filter the search results so that they include only images of people.  How is this useful?  Well, it could come in handy if you are looking for images of the prominent people behind popular products, companies, or geographic locations.  You can perform this search by appending the code&imgtype=face to the end of the URL address after you perform a standard Google Image search.

2.  Google + Social Media Sites = Quality Free Stuff – If you are on the hunt for free desktop wallpaper, stock images, WordPress templates or the like, using Google to search your favorite social media sites is your best bet.  The word “free” in any standard search query immediately attracts spam.  Why wade through potential spam in standard search results when numerous social media sites have an active community of users who have already ranked and reviewed the specific free items that interest you.  All you have to do is direct Google to search through each of these individual social media sites, and bingo… you find quality content ranked by hundreds of other people.

3.  Find Free Anonymous Web Proxies – A free anonymous web proxy site allows any web browser to access other third-party websites by channeling the browser’s connection through the proxy.  The web proxy basically acts as a middleman between your web browser and the third-party website you are visiting.  Why would you want to do this?  There are two common reasons:

  • You’re connecting to a public network at a coffee shop or internet café and you want privacy while you browse the web.  You don’t want the admin to know every site you visit.
  • You want to bypass a web content filter or perhaps a server-side ban on your IP address.  Content filtering is common practice on college campus networks.  This trick will usually bypass those restrictions.

There are subscription services and applications available such as TOR and paid VPN servers that do the same thing.  However, this trick is free and easy to access from anywhere via Google.  All you have to do is look through the search results returned by the queries below, find a proxy that works, and enter in the URL of the site you want to browse anonymously.

4.  Google for Music, Videos, and Ebooks – Google can be used to conduct a search for almost any file type, including Mp3s, PDFs, and videos.  Open web directories are one of the easiest places to quickly find an endless quantity of freely downloadable files.  This is an oldie, but it’s a goodie!  Why thousands of webmasters incessantly fail to secure their web severs will continue to boggle our minds.

5.  Browse Open Webcams Worldwide – Take a randomized streaming video tour of the world by searching Google for live open access video webcams.  This may not be the most productive Google trick ever, but it sure is fun!  (Note: you may be prompted to install an ActiveX control or the Java runtime environment which allows your browser to view certain video stream formats.)

6.  Judge a Site by its Image – Find out what a site is all about by looking at a random selection of the images hosted on its web pages.  Even if you are somewhat familiar with the target site’s content, this can be an entertaining little exercise.  You will almost surely find something you didn’t expect to see.  All you have to do is use Google’s site: operator to target a domain in an image search.

7.  Results Based on Third-Party Opinion – Sometimes you can get a better idea of the content located within a website by reading how other websites refer to that site’s content.  The allinanchor: Google search operator can save you large quantities of time when a normal textual based search query fails to fetch the information you desire.  It conducts a search based on keywords used strictly in the anchor text, or linking text, of third party sites that link to the web pages returned by the search query.  In other words, this operator filters your search results in a way such that Google ignores the title and content of the returned web pages, but instead bases the search relevance on the keywords that other sites use to reference the results.  It can add a whole new dimension of variety to your search results.


Bonus Material:

Here is a list of my favorite Google advanced search operators, operator combinations, and related uses:

  • link:URL = lists other pages that link to the URL.
  • related:URL = lists other pages that are related to the URL.
  • “search term = restricts search results to the given domain.
  • allinurl:WORDS = shows only pages with all search terms in the url.
  • inurl:WORD = like allinurl: but filters the URL based on the first term only.
  • allintitle:WORD = shows only results with terms in title.
  • intitle:WORD = similar to allintitle, but only for the next word.
  • cache:URL = will show the Google cached version of the URL.
  • info:URL = will show a page containing links to related searches, backlinks, and pages containing the url. This is the same as typing the url into the search box.
  • filetype:SOMEFILETYPE = will restrict searches to that filetype
  • -filetype:SOMEFILETYPE = will remove that file type from the search.
  • “” = shows you how many pages of your site are indexed by google
  • allintext: = searches only within text of pages, but not in the links or page title
  • allinlinks: = searches only within links, not text or title
  • WordA OR WordB = search for either the word A or B
  • “Word” OR “Phrase” = search exact word or phrase
  • WordA -WordB = find word A but filter results that include word B
  • WordA +WordB = results much contain both Word A and Word B
  • ~WORD = looks up the word and its synonyms
  • ~WORD -WORD = looks up only the synonyms to the word

17 of the coolest hidden Google tricks

Posted: August 20, 2012 in Google

Google is awesome. Yes, there have been questions raised about its new privacy policy and creepy Safari tracking and frankly, it just knows way too much about everyone who has ever created a Google account. But let’s put that aside for a moment and focus on all its cool quirks, shall we?

They’re built into practically every Google product — if you look hard enough, you’ll find that entering the right search term or typing a code can make Google collapse, spin or create fictional characters. Here are 15 easter eggs (hidden, entertaining things developers build into a website or program) for you to discover the next time you’re Googling.


1. Walking to Mordor:


If you’ve ever watched The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (or just seen various versions of the meme) you may never stop laughing at this Google Maps quirk (or maybe it’s just me). If you try to get walking directions from “The Shire” or “Rivendell” to “Mordor” (and ignore the suggestions that pop up), Google will give you the route… and a warning. In other news, according to my Google Maps, Mordor is located just outside Cape Town, South Africa. Nice.


2. Barrel roll:

barrel roll

Endlessly entertaining, this one trended worldwide on Twitter in November. Simply search “do a barrel roll” — if you have Google’s instant results functions enabled, your results page will be spinning before you’ve completed the instruction.


3. 42:


What is 42, you ask? Geez, it’s only the answer to life, the universe and everything. Ok, so if you’ve never read or watched The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you won’t get this one. But Google’s built-in calculator will.


4. Gravity:


If, by any chance, you feeling like searching “Google gravity” and hitting “I’m feeling lucky”, don’t be surprised if Google comes crashing down around you the second you move the mouse.


5. Recursion:


Google pokes fun at its own “did you mean” suggestions if you search recursion (repetition or returning) by questioning your spelling even though you didn’t make a mistake.


6. Klingon:


So “GoogleDaq ylnej” means “Google search”. Hmmm. Who knew? Well, you, if you speak Klingon. Yes, there is a Klingon version of Google. There is also a pirate and Elmer Fudd version, if that’s more your thing.


7. Kerning:


Designers will love this one — kerning is the spacing between letters in a word. When you do a search for kerning, Google changes the spaces between letters in the word ‘kerning’ in all the results. Heehee. You see what they did there?


8. Hello, Nessy:

lochness monster

Picture this: You’re working under a tight deadline, your clock is slowly counting the minutes past 3AM and your coffee and Red Bull combo is failing. The sleep deprivation is starting to affect you — you are starting to see things. You click to your home page, and there, rising gracefully from the dark waves in your iGoogle theme, is the Lochness Monster.

No, you’re not hallucinating — you really did see Nessy. If you are ever awake and online at 3:14 AM (those are the first three digits in Pi, by the way. Gosh, those Google nerds), and have the iGoogle beach theme installed, Nessy will come to visit for a minute. If you’re not an insomniac, you can always just change the timezone on your computer and in your iGoogle settings and just wait until 14 minutes past the hour (I was in Bangkok last night, as far as Google knows).


9. Nagging Rams:


Similar to the ‘recursion’ response, if you search for ‘anagram’ (rearranging the letters in a word to make a new word or phrase, in case you didn’t know), Google rearranges the letters to suggest you were really searching for ‘nag a ram’.


10. Antarctic Penguins:


If you ever want to creep the Antarctic on Google Maps, you may be surprised to find the little orange peg man you drag and drop to change to Google Street View has transformed into a fat little penguin. Awwww.


11. Doodles:


What do you get if you don’t actually search for anything, and just hit ‘I’m feeling lucky’? A catalogue of all the Google doodles — all the way back to 1998. There were just three in that year — there have already been 69 in 2012.


12. Konami ninja:


If you type in the Konami code (a cheat code used in Konami games) in Google Reader, the side panel will turn blue and a cute ninja will appear on the left of your screen. Use your arrow keys and keyboard to enter the code — it’s up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, followed by the letters B and A.


13. Street View team:

street view

Ever wanted to see the people who work at Google doing cool things like Google Street View? Well, if you hop along to the back of the Google offices in Mountain View, you can see them all.


14. Laundry:


There are a lot of things Gmail can do for you — filter spam, flood you with ads, apply a plethora of pretty coloured labels to your messages — but, as yet, it can’t do your laundry.  However, it is an option on the ‘suggest a feature’ page for Gmail.


15. Pacman:


It started out as a Google doodle to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Pacman in 2010, but the Google Pacman game was so popular, it was given a permanent home.


16. Zerg rush:

Zerg rush

Google “zerg rush” and prepare to defend your browser against hordes of the letter ‘o’ in Google’s logo, which will start to destroy your search results. They’re apparently undefeatable, but you can try to fight them off by clicking on them and share your high score on Google +. For those who aren’t familiar with StarCraft, a ‘zerg rush’ is a tactic where swarms of aliens known as ‘zergs’ descend in multitudes in order to overwhelm their enemies.


17. You’ll never find Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris google

Because Chuck Norris jokes never get old, there is a warning hidden in Google search results to ward off those who dare to attempt to find him. Just search ‘find Chuck Norris’ and hit ‘I’m feeling lucky’ and you’ll see what I mean.