Love them or hate them: if you use the Internet for business or pleasure, you have to deal with Google. Google searches are all but impossible to ignore, for research, shopping, finding friends or just satisfying your curiosity. Knowing how to get the best–and most targeted–information from your Google search can make your Internet surfing much less frustrating and even fun. In fact, Google offers a host of features to help you do just that…if you know where to look. Before you type another phrase in a Google search box, be sure to bone up on these lesser-known, but very useful, Google search options.
Are you looking for an image for your blog? Do you want something to match the overall color scheme of your site? Google allows you to search image results for just one of 12 predominant colors. To do this, click on the “all colors” link above the search results. You’ll get a drop-down box with 12 color icons. Click on the one that interests you and “voila.”
2. Related terms.
Are you interested in expanding your search to words and/or phrases that are related to the one(s) you typed in the search engine box? Use a tilde (~) before a word or phrase. For example, “~gardening” will yield information on landscaping, plants, flowers and mulch.
3. Insite command.
Do you want to limit your search results to one particular Web site? Google allows you to do just that with the “insite” command. If, for instance, you want to look for nutrition advice on “Huffington Post,” type “site:huffingtonpost.com~nutrition” in the search box. The search results will be limited to just Huff Post articles.
Does the relationship between meters and yards have you confused? Are you making a recipe you printed from a European Web site where all of the measurements are in metric? Are you shopping on an overseas Web site and want to convert the prices from the local currency to dollars? Google makes all of these conversions simple. Just type in the conversion you desire, such as “10 meters in yards” or “240 Euros in US dollars” and Google will do the rest.
5. Tracking feature.
Would you like to see if your package, overnight letter or shipment will be delivered on time or where it is in the delivery cycle? Google makes that easy. If you simply type the FedEx, UPS or USPS tracking number in the search engine box, you’ll get a display of the shipment’s current progress or delivery date and time. The same principle works with commercial airline flights. Type in the airline and flight number of a same-day flight and you’ll get a display of the flight’s exact arrival and departure status.
So, the next time you starting typing in a Google search box, make sure that you are taking advantage of all Google’s bells and whistles. You’ll be rewarded with more useful and interesting search results.
Hannah is a 22 year old Western Washington University graduate, specializing in technology, adventure, and all things marketing. She is a writer for Deals.ServiceBundles.com and loves exploring the newest social media sites to find the best possibilities for customer interaction. Follow her at @hongryhannah, and thanks for reading!