25 Google Tricks For Search

Written by Chris Arlington on . Posted in Articles, Google Search Tricks

google search tricksWe all know how powerful a search tool Google is, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t left wanting every once in a while.  And while Google’s search algorithm is constantly growing and improving, (hopefully) offering better results to searchers, for most of us, a simple search merely scratches the surface of what can be found.  That’s where Google Tricks come in!

Below you will find a list of 25 amazing Google Tricks for Search, many of which I didn’t even know existed before writing this article. The tricks will help to hone your queries to razor-sharpness, and return results refined to match your specific needs. From the time in Bombay to the wildcard operator, Google Search Tricks will allow you to weed out the irrelevant and target your queries with precision.

1. Multiply Your Search Terms:

Using the “OR” function within your search will allow you to combine related searches to help narrow down the results to exactly what you’re looking for.  For example, if you’re looking for information about the National Basketball Association you could type in this to the search bar, “NBA OR National Basketball Association”.  Since these are two related terms it will return the top sites for both of these terms which can save you a lot of time.

2. Can The Spam:

Reduce the amount of spam sites in your blog searches.  When searching for a blog about a specific topic you often get a lot of spam blogs with copied content.  In Google’s blog search you can quickly reduce the amount of spam sites by first clicking the option on the left to only return sites published in the last 1 day (more or less depending on your needs).  Then turn on the option to set the relevancy which will help eliminate many of the sites with duplicate content and sort them by which are most relevant to your search term.

3. Search Google Images for People:

When searching Google Images for people, add &imgtype=face to the end of the URL returned in your browser’s address bar. For example, a Google Image search for iphone will return images of mostly iphones. However, if you add the [code]&imgtype=face[/code] to the end of the url, you’ll get a wholly different set of results.

4. Search For Comparisons:

Use the term “Better Than” or “Worse Than” to find sites which are comparing two products or items.

5. Search Lite:

Turn on the “Accessible Search” option to return web pages which do not excessively use style and images.  This is also a great option when viewing pages on your mobile device.

6. Fill In The Blanks:

Use the “*” character as a wild card to get the information you need.  For example, Michael Jordan scored * points in the Championship game.

7. Search for Related Items:

Put a ~ in the search phrase to find related items.  For example, “~Microsoft” may return results about other technology companies.

8. Advanced Search:

Using Google’s advanced search you can find which pages link to the one you’re on.  This is a great way to find more information about a particular topic.

9. Search Around:

Using the operator “AROUND” in your search phrase will help find pages which have words appearing near other words. For example: “peanut” AROUND “ice cream”.  You can also specify the number of words to separate the terms like yea: “peanut” AROUND (4) “ice cream”

10. Exact Phrase Search:

Use quotes in your search to find an exact phrase.  For example, “Call me Ishmael” will find sites which have that exact phrase, in that order where as searching for Call Me Ishmael without the quotes will find sites with those words but not necessarily in that order.

11. Find Sites With Relevant Images:

When you want a site with an image about the topic, perform your search, then select the link ‘all results’ and choose ‘sites with images’.

12. Negative Keywords:

Using the ‘-‘ operator you can exclude terms from your search to help narrow down the results.

13. Search For Document Type:

If you’re just looking for a .pdf or other specific type of file you can use the file type operator to limit the search to those which are of that file type. Example: filetype: pdf

14. Search By Link Text

Using the “allinanchor” within your search will return only results which have the anchor text you search for.  This helps limit your searches to those which other parties have labeled the site as.

15. Block Specific Sites From Search Results:

Remove specific domains from your results using the “-site:website.com” phrase in your search.

16. Search Within Specific Sites:

If you know which site your information will be found on and you only want to search within that domain just type “site:” before your search phrase. 17. Search Numerical Ranges: When searching for information which is within a numerical range or date range you can type in the operator “..”

18. Get The Time:

If you want to know what time it is somewhere specific you can just ask Google.  Type “What time is it in Los Angeles, CA right now”  and it will return that time for you.

19. Track Flights:

Tracking the flight of a loved one has never been easier, simply enter the airline and flight number into the regular Google search box and you’ll get the arrival and departure times.

20. Use Google To Convert Units:

Use Google to convert just about anything.  Type in “Convert $20 to British Pounds” and you’ll quickly get the answer you need using the most up to date conversion rates.  It works for degrees Fahrenheit to Celsius, Seconds to hours or nearly anything else you can think of too!

21. Search For Similar:

Find something you might like with the “reminds me of” operator.  If you love Elton John, for example you could type in “Reminds me of Elton John” to get some other artists which have a similar sound to him.

22. Get The Weather:

Get the most up to date weather by simply typing in weather followed by your zip code.

23. Listen to Music:

Listen to music for free by just typing in the artists  you want to hear.  You’ll have options to listen to the music video on YouTube or just stream it in high quality audio!

24. Search A Site’s Text Only:

Using the ‘allintext:’ operator has Google search only within the text of a site and it ignores the links and titles.

25. Use Google to Find Free Downloadable Music:

While this lovely Google Search Trick is a little edgy where copyright is concerned, I felt it ought to be included because I love how easy it makes locating obscure, hard-to-find titles.  Search for free downloadable music by typing intitle:index of mp3 + “artist name” (replace “artist name” with the name of the artist you’re searching for. You can also search for other music file formats by replacing “mp3″ with “wma” or “acc”).

These Google Tricks can help return highly-specific information.  A simple Google search will yield a ton of relevant information, but often you’ll be forced to wade through the results and filter them manually. These search tricks do the filtering for you, turbocharging your results, saving you time, and minimizing your frustration.

Google tricks for search allows you to truly customize your search.

About the author

Chris Arlington Christoph Arlington is Master Trickster of Search Kung-fu, Google Laffriots, and General Intarwebs Yuks at GoogleTricks.com. You can stalk him on and Twitter where his wit is even more razor-sharper (if that's even possible!). Since you asked, no, he wasn't born with an unholy infatuation with Google Tricks, but the world, as is its wont, turned him into a slightly mad, madly-obsessed Google voyeur. This site is his (physician-prescribed) steam-blowoff.

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Chris Arlington

Chris Arlington

Christoph Arlington is Master Trickster of Search Kung-fu, Google Laffriots, and General Intarwebs Yuks at GoogleTricks.com. You can stalk him on and Twitter where his wit is even more razor-sharper (if that's even possible!). Since you asked, no, he wasn't born with an unholy infatuation with Google Tricks, but the world, as is its wont, turned him into a slightly mad, madly-obsessed Google voyeur. This site is his (physician-prescribed) steam-blowoff.

Comments (5)

  • amuse bouche

    |

    What cave have I been hiding in that I had no idea that even 1/4 of these existed!?

    I can’t even begin to calculate how much time is it going to save me now to not have to go to the fedex site and type in my tracking info, or to an airline’s site to track a flight.

    Awesome tips Christoph. Thanks for this post, and site.

    Reply

    • Chris Arlington

      Christoph Arlington

      |

      Thanks for your comment, amuse. It’s cool to hear that you’ve found something helpful here.

      I agree with you, those two tips in particular are so awesomely time-saving. Gotta love ‘em.

      – Christoph

      Reply

  • Zubeyr Jama

    |

    Really Interesting, Fascinating And Understandable.

    Been Using These Tips For The Last 2 Weeks!

    Reply

  • We Are Anonymous

    |

    Just came here to tell you that this site has greatly helped me. Well done and keep the site running. :)

    Reply

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