Google Search Tips

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Web history

Web History offers you a log of websites you’ve visited, a timeline of your actions and the ability to search your own online history. Try it out at www.google.com/history.

Start simple

No matter what you’re looking for, our motto is “keep it simple.” Start by entering a basic name or word. If you’re looking for a place or product in a specific location, enter the name along with the town or zip code.

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Ignore spelling

Google’s spell checker automatically defaults to the most common spelling of a given word, whether or not you spell it correctly.

Try it out Search “gooogle”

Use web friendly words

A search engine works by matching the words you enter to pages on the web. So using words that are most likely to appear on pages will yield the best results. For example, instead of saying my head hurts, say headache, because that’s the term a medical website would use.

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Less is more

Simple, one or two word search terms will usually give you the broadest results. Start with short search terms, then refine your results by adding more words.

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Search with an exact phrase

Put quotation marks around words “[any word]” to search for an exact phrase in an exact order. Keep in mind that searching with quotes might exclude relevant results. For instance, a search for “Alexander Bell” will miss pages that refer to Alexander G. Bell.

Try it out Search “”to be or not to be””

Use descriptive words

The more unique the word, the more likely you are to get relevant results. So [celebrity ringtones] is probably better than [celebrity sounds]. Keep in mind though, that even if the word has the correct meaning, if it’s not the one most people use, it may not match the pages you need.

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Don’t worry about cases

Search isn’t case sensitive. A search for new york timesis the same as a search for New York Times.

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Search within a specific site

Precede your query with site: if you know you want your answer from within a specific site or type of site (.org, .edu). For example: site:edu or site:nytimes.com.

Try it out Search “op-ed site:nytimes.com”

Don’t worry about punctuation

Search ignores punctuation. This includes @#%^*()=[]\ and other special characters.

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Search by file type

Search for specific types of files, such as PDFs, PPTs, or XLS, by adding filetype: and the 3-letter file abbreviation.

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Include or ignore words and characters in your search

Highlight common words and characters such as the and& if they are essential to your search (as in a movie or book title) by putting quotation marks “the” around them. You can also use the minus – sign to specify particular items you don’t want in your results, like ingredients in a recipe.

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Find recipes

After searching for a specific recipe or ingredients, select “Recipes” in the left panel to see recipe results.

Try it out Search “peanut butter broccoli noodles”

Search numbers in a range

Stay within your budget by searching only for items within a number range by putting a string .. between amounts.

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Get number conversions

Convert any measurement — like miles to kilometers or ounces to liters — by typing in the number and unit of measurement.

Try it out Search “miles to km”

Get the time

To see what time it is anywhere in the world, search timeand the city or country.

Try it out Search “time japan”

Get currency conversions

Get current exchange rates by searching [currency 1] in [currency 2].

Try it out Search “usd in pesos”

Check the weather

Search weather followed by a U.S. zip code or the name of any city in the world to get the current weather and forecast. Enter weather by itself to get the weather report for your current location.

Try it out Search “weather chicago”

Get realtime stock quotes

Typing any ticker symbol into the search box will get you realtime stock quotes that update live in your search results. Click the link on the results page for a detailed market analysis from Google Finance.

Try it out Search “GOOG”

Check sport scores and schedules

Get scores and schedules for your favorite NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB teams simply by typing the team or league into the search box. All sports data provided by STATS, Inc.

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Search with Goggles

Want to search the web using your mobile phone’s camera instead of words? On an Android, open your Google Goggles app (on an iPhone, open the Google Search app and select Goggles), snap a picture of the item you want to search for, and wait for your results. No typing necessary.

Track your packages

Track your UPS, FedEx, or USPS packages by typing the tracking number directly into the search box. The results will show you the status of your shipment.

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Get definitions

Put define: in front of any word to get its definition.

Try it out Search “define: loquaciousness”

Calculate anything

Enter any math equation into the search box and we’ll calculate your answer.

Try it out Search “100*3.14-cos(83)=”

Locate earthquake activity

Type earthquake in the search box and your results will feature U.S. Geological Survey info showing the time, place and magnitude of recent earthquakes.

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Search by location

Add a zip code to the end of any place search likebarbecue ribs and get results showing the nearest rib joints, along with phone numbers, a map, and even reviews. If you don’t include your zip code, we may suggest places near you.

Try it out Search “barbecue ribs 35201”

Search locations by zip and area codes

Want to know where a given zip code or area code is located? Just type it into the search box.

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Shop and compare

Use the “Shopping” link on the left panel on the results page to shop for products and compare prices across the web.

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Get local sunrise/sunset times

To see the exact times of sunrises and sunsets in cities around the U.S. and the world, search sunrise or sunsetfollowed by the city name.

Try it out Search “sunrise baltimore”

Discover local business

To find a store, restaurant or other business in a given neighborhood, enter the type of business and the location and we’ll deliver a list of nearby places, along with a map, reviews and contact info. If you don’t include the location in your search, we’ll just find locations close to you.

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Get movie times

Search on a movie name or just movie to see theater locations and showtimes in your area.

Try it out Search “movie”

Read public domain books

Read the complete texts of public domain works likeMoby Dick for free by selecting “books” in the left panel of your search results.

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Hone in on a particular range

To specify a particular number range, type .. then a space, then the numbers in your range. For example, if you’re searching for cars with over 300 horsepower, search cars “300.. horsepower”. Here are some other examples: “220.. V” or “1.. RPM” or “8000.. mAh” battery

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Check flight schedules

To see flight schedules to or from a particular destination, type flights from or flights to followed by the city or airport of interest. You can also add another location withto or from and view the schedule for a specific route.*Flight schedule data is provided by OAG and QuickTrip by Innovata.

Try it out Search “flights from chicago to denver”

Research health conditions

To see information about a common disease or symptom, enter it into the search box and we’ll return the beginning of an expert summary. You can click through to read the entire article.

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Check flight times

View live arrival and departure information for U.S. flights just by searching the name of the airline and the flight number.

Try it out Search “frontier 667”

Get world news

Search any topic and then click the “News” tab in the left panel to get news results from sources around the world.

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Similar terms

Get results that include synonyms by placing the ~ sign immediately in front of your search term. A search for Christmas ~dessert recipes, for instance, will return results for desserts, along with candy, cookies and other treats.

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Search by voice

To search the web by speaking, tap the microphone button on the Google search box on your home screen, or press down for a few seconds on the physical search button on your phone to activate the “Speak Now” screen. Voice Search for Android supports Voice Actions on Android 2.2 (Froyo) and above.

Examine public data

Search demographic terms like population orunemployment rate, followed by a county, state or country, and you’ll get instant data about your chosen location directly from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. From there, you can click through to compare rates in different locations.

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Get interactive financial info

To get interactive financial results, go to google.com on your iPhone or Android-powered device (2.1 or later) and search for your favorite stock symbol. You’ll see an interactive graph shown on a card; you can switch views to different date ranges by tapping on the buttons below the graph.

Find medication information

Search the name of a generic or brand-name prescription drug and we’ll display its summary and description. You can also click through to more info about side effects, dosage and precautions from the National Institutes of Health.

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Instant on mobile

Google Instant on mobile makes search faster by displaying not just predictions but actual search results as you type. The beta version is available for most iPhone and Android devices in the U.S. To try it, go to google.com in your phone’s browser and tap the Google Instant “Turn on” link beneath the search box (if you don’t see the “Turn on” link, try waiting a moment and then refresh the page).

Use instant preview on mobile

Google Instant Previews is available on mobile for Android (2.2+) and iOS (4.0+) devices across 38 languages. Like the desktop version of Instant Previews, you can visually compare search results from webpage snapshots, making it easier to choose the right result faster.

Search by location

If you want to find sushi nearby, go to Google.com on your smartphone and type “sushi”. If you’ve chosen to share your location with Google, you’ll get business results near your current location. If you want to search somewhere else, specify a location in the query, like pizza Kansas City.

Get interactive weather

To see a new weather search results snippet that lets you actually play with the results just go to google.com on your iPhone or Android-powered device and search for weather.